Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Last Look

A mutual friend sent me a lovely picture of Lady Jane, taken a few months before she died.  I come across it as I scroll through the gallery on my phone.  She's vibrant and well coifed and her eyes are sparkling.  I can feel her aching to get the picture taking finished so that she can get on to the next adventure.

I'm taken aback by how healthy she looks.  She was remarkably healthy for 87.  No hearing aids.  No eye glasses.  A cane and a pacemaker kept her mobile.  Although she spent the past few years divesting, sending her personal property to museums and family members and worthy organizations,  I never thought of her as being close to death.  She had every cardiologist in the Western Hemisphere consulting on her heart; we were totally confident that they would keep it ticking forever.

Then she was sick.  Then she was home.

I don't remember G'ma looking as gaunt, as empty, as Lady Jane appeared over the last weeks of her life.  I was honored to be among the very few who were allowed beyond the front door; it's something I valued then and will hold close to my heart forever.  

But my visual recall goes to the flaccid figure on the hospital bed, an image that is unsettling and sad and not at all how I want to remember her.  It's why I never took a last look at my dead relatives in their caskets - the visuals are hard to erase.

So, I'm very grateful to my friend for sending this all the way from Germany, because she knew that it would make me smile.
That's much better.


  1. Have you told us before who Lady Jane was in your life?

    1. She was more a lurker than a star, it seems. I Went searching for posts:

  2. There have been so many losses in the past few years. The pandemic has been a factor, sure, but in reality, my age is probably the main factor. I have come to understand that death is as much a part of life as birth and that they both are transitions.

    1. Yes, the older we get the less time we have, it seems. We are losing friends left and right..... loss upon loss...\


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