I always wondered "would I know what the 'death rattle' sounds like?"
I heard it and I knew.
And I never want to hear it again.
I did not go to hospice yesterday. I wanted things to be normal. I wnated to wake at home, go to work, return home, and have dinner with my family. And that's what I did. It felt great. I had no regrets.
Then today happened. I walked in and I knew. But I had the nurses confirm - Mom's breathing was loud. Mucousy. Labored. The nurse whispered 'death rattle' then assured me Mom was not in pain.
But I was.
I know this means the end is even closer. I cannot stop crying. I must call my Dad and my sister. I must hold my Mom's hand and tell her how much she's loved. I must tell her how proud I am of the example she led. I am proud of the fight she has fought. I explain just how much I'll miss her.
Hospice nurses and chaplains kiss me. They offer me coffee, some food, and hugs.
The end is near.