After Life: An Aberration

A day or so after the conversation described in my previous post, Gavin had transitioned to a state of moving in and out of sleep. Our friends were coming and going as surreal “guests” and the hospice staff was giving him a fair amount of whatever opiate was permitted. There were no IVs.

It would be another day before he was mostly asleep. Before I gave him a few sips of lychee ice cream from the special tropical place as I left for the night. One more day would be the last.

There weren’t that many days in the hospice, so these events must all have happened the same day, on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.

We had the conversation I recounted above, about burial plans.

He awoke when I was in the room, clutched his abdomen, and said, “Why does it have to hurt so damn much?” I ran for the nurse to up the drugs. He was asleep again before we got back.

He awoke abruptly when I was in the room and said accusingly, “So what’s it going to be. Are you going to burn me or bury me?” I’m not sure he could tell I was in the room.
“Honey, we just talked about this…” but he wasn’t all there. A moment later he was asleep.

I asked the social worker (the same one who would later commit offense #4) if I listen to what he said and respond, or whether it was delirium. She looked at his chart and said it was the drugs and I should be at ease.

Do you get to finish every conversation? No. Did we get pretty far? I counted myself lucky and moved on. At least from this one little bit.

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