S h o r t F i c t i o n / E s s a y s
On Making a Good End
The other night my sister called to let me know that an elderly family friend had passed away. Helen was 94, a perceptive and spiritual woman who had known my parents for over fifty years. She's been living for quite some time in the sheltered care facility where my sister does office work, and I think that after our mom passed away four years ago, my sister found comfort and continuity in visiting this woman who had known our family well.
Helen's passing is not at all a cause for sadness,
though. She seems, by all accounts, to have made a gentle passage. My sister recalled that
Helen always refused to be sad over her husband's death. "Just think," she
would say, gesturing around her, "He doesn't have to deal with any of
this." Helen was active until the last, not (as my sister pointed out)
confined to bed for endless months or mentally dulled in any way. Last
week she confided to someone that she believed she'd completed what she
was supposed to do here. On her final morning she'd gotten up and was
starting to prepare for her day when the end overtook her.
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