May 27, 2012

Dotty Looked Beautiful in Death

I believe in prayer, and I believe your prayers made a difference.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room 

Dotty Looked Beautiful in Death | Alzheimer's Reading Room

When Dotty died she just stopped ticking. Her jaw never dropped. Not even her lips. She did sound like a perculator, but she never winced, cringed, or evidenced any sign of pain.

As she was dying I put my cheek on her cheek and held her. I whispered in her ear and told her to go into the light. I said more, but for now that is between Dotty and me.

After a bit, I turned my head and looked up at the ceiling just in case Dotty was up there.

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I didn't see her.

If you are wondering why I did this it was because I read a lot about near death experience. People who died, and then came back to life.

Many of them say the same thing. They left their body, flew up to the top of the room, and looked down. They could hear everything and they could see their own body. It wasn't their time, so they came back. They all mention the bright light.

Next, I felt compelled to call Joanne and Billy, and the others that had asked me to call regardless of time of death. I did it.

Then it happened. I walked back into the room and Dotty looked


Nurse Sandra had cleaned Dotty up, wet her hair and combed it. I could not believe my eyes. Dotty looked totally at peace.

I went over put my arms around Dotty and held her for a while. She was still warm.

Then I stood up and looked at her for a while. I wanted to burn that image into my brain. I did.

I should mention that as soon as nurse Sandra arrived on Thursday night, she massaged Dotty's entire body with lotion. From head to toe. Not rubbed lotion on her, massaged her entire body. She worked on my mother for almost 2 hours.

God bless nurse Sandra.

For years, I have been thinking about what the end might be like. I like to get out in front of things, so I thought about all the possibilities.

Would Dotty become bedridden and forget me? Forget us. It never happened.

What was I going to do when Dotty could no longer walk? How would we continue to live our life? How would I get her into the bright light each day? I had a plan, I didn't need it.

I planned ahead for a long list of contingencies. Didn't need em.

Three weeks before Dotty died we went out to breakfast. In the evening we shared a Philly cheese steak and french fries.

Dotty was clearly getting weak, though, and something was clearly wrong.

It all started the very next day, Saturday.

By the following Wednesday, Dotty was under Hospice care. Should have been Monday but that is a long story.

There were a few glitches in the Hospice care, but over all the care is truly remarkable.

I had a critical care nurse from Hospice by the Sea with me for the last 33 hours. Saved me for sure.

At the end, the wonderful nurse Beth came. She did almost everything. She called the funeral home, etc. The funeral people from the National Cremation Society, cringe, came in a flash. Great service. By the way, we actually bought the prepaid funeral service from a family owned business way back in 1995. I can assure you they had a user friendlier name.

I can say, I can highly recommend the National Cremation Society, especially a woman named Jenny who I worked with me from beginning to end. Wonderful woman.

Everything with Dotty went so well at the end.

No pain, no antipsychotic drugs, no contorted looks. I can only conclude that all your prayers and support made a difference.

I believe in prayer, and I believe your prayers made a difference.

I can't help thinking about -- how fortunate we were (are).

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Original content +Bob DeMarco , the Alzheimer's Reading Room