I don’t have an audio file for this short excerpt. After three failed attempts, I gave up trying. I can’t seem to get past the line, “But it presses on me . . .” Instead, you could start the Celine Dion video and listen to her song as you read. This song was often playing through my mind as I spent time by Annie’s bedside.
I know that people tell stories about encouraging their loved ones to “Go to the light,” when they are dying, or to “Let go.” I’ve been telling Annie the same. I tell her, “Go to the light, Sweetheart. Look for Grandma. Look for Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy. Do you see Grandma? You go when you’re ready.” But it presses on me that she might not know what that means.
I turn to the hospice nurse Joanne who sits silently in the pink recliner by the little light that throws the room into a soft glow. “What can I tell her?” I ask. “I don’t know if she evens knows what it means to go to the light.” Joanne reassures me that it is instinctual to know how to die. “Tell her it’s okay to die,” she says.
I turn back to Annie with my head resting against hers and I whisper, “It’s okay to,” but I am unable to say the word die.