Today was a hard day. I went to visit Amy again and at this point, it is very possible that every visit will be the last one. Who knows if she will rally again (the hospice nurse said that you never, ever underestimate the will of a very stubborn person--and if you know Amy, well...) but the social worker that spoke to me this morning made it clear that we are very close to the end. Amy is tired. She is in pain. It is time for her to let go. Everyone around her has told her it is okay to let go, that it is okay to stop fighting. Everyone, I should say, but me. I hadn't said those words to her. I didn't give her "permission" to die because, honestly, I didn't want to. I know how unbelievably selfish that is. I know. But a part of me wants her to keep fighting--just stay alive long enough for someone, somewhere, to find a cure and just help her. This is all so damned unfair. But after talking to the social worker and the doctor, I knew I had to tell her today. I had to--for her and for me.
So today, after she had showered and gotten cleaned up and was a little be more lucid than she had been the day before (though not by much), I sat by her bed, took her hand in mine and told her how much she has meant to me and my family for the last 20 years. I told her I was sorry that I hadn't told her enough how much she has meant to us. I told her that I couldn't stand seeing her in such pain and that if she felt it was time, then she had to stop fighting. We sobbed together for a very long time. When she could finally talk again, she told me that she was trying very hard not to die near Sophie's birthday. I had to laugh. Here is someone who never, even for an instant, wavered in her support after Sophie died. Someone who is not married, does not have kids, and never even pretended to understand even a little bit what it felt like to lose a child...but always, always, was kind, compassionate, understanding, loving, giving and so so so supportive. Here she is, dying, and her last act on Earth is to try to NOT die on Sophie's birthday, because she doesn't want me hurting anymore than I already am. What do you say to that???