Here are some ways my luck really held up:
- My stepmother received a windfall (family coal money) that she used for my father's care. This included salaries for my sister and me so we didn't have to work and could spend time caring for Dad, plane tickets for my elder brother so he could visit frequently, and even towing fees when my family got stuck in the mountains the day of a scary medical procedure.
- I recorded Dad reading beloved poems: "The Old Sailor" by A.A. Milne, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, and "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by L. Carroll. We completed the whole list before reading became impossible for him.
- I was in the room with him when he died, an experience I shared with my sister, brother-in-law, younger brother, stepmother, and a loving neighbor who stopped doing the dishes and ran down the block on pure instinct.
Much of what I categorize as luck is really something else. Was it luck that brought our family in contact with an amazing hospice team? Was it luck that my husband and children were able to take care of themselves when I had less time and emotional energy for them? Was it luck that my sister and I got along despite historical conflict and alienation?
If these are luck, I wish you luck. I wish you discovery, and strength, and the time, space and support to talk and cry and sing spontaneously, and the right people in the right place at the right time. May you be lucky enough to watch someone you love die.
I was, and it changed my life.