If you could choose your last good afternoon, what would you do? Who would you see?
Over the week-end, we were able to spend some time visiting a friend whose husband (also a friend of ours) died late in October. This older couple has lived long, good lives. They have created a loving family and lived in exciting times.
Our friend shared with us the story of the last few days of her husband's life. He had been slowly "going down hill" for several months, but still maintained as much of his usual schedule as he could. No more racketball games at the Y, but getting up every morning, dressing, making his own breakfast, and socializing when he could.
On the Saturday prior to his death, friends from out of town were visiting. They hosted a large tail-gate party in advance of a big football game at the local university. They invited several friends our friend knew from the Y. There were gin and tonics and chocolate chip cookies, and much good conversation.
A short time later, he was admitted to the hospital, and died peacefully a couple of days later. Our friend described his last moments as "it was very quiet. The life just ebbed out of him."
Frankly, I'm thinking that if you could choose the last several days of your life . . . an afternoon of drinks and cookies and friends would probably be a good way to say good-bye.