Paula recalls what she and her family did to keep her daughter comfortable while in hospice.
Actually, she wouldn’t respond to us a lot. She would lay with her eyes closed, and that’s part of the dying process, but when she was alert, we would just sit and hold her hand, or my other daughter’s a massage therapist. She would give her little massages, tried to talk to her, but she really didn’t want to talk. She kept a notebook where she would write down who was coming when and who came in to see her, and this gave her some kind of, I don’t know, made her feel better.
And she sat and when she could, she would talk to people. She just was . . . The rabbi came a couple of times, and then she turned to us and said, she had to have a plan for everything, and she turns to us and she says, “I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to die. What do I do?” How do you answer that? And then they’re sitting, and she is saying, “Well, I want this person to have this, and I want that person to have the other,” and I am sitting there and I am crying, and she left me out.
But it was hard, and all we could do was do what she wanted. If she wanted something special to eat or drink, we’d get it for her. She wanted to see somebody alone, we would all leave. Towards the end, she said she didn’t want any visitors, just family.
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