Joans mom and brother arrived, so did my brother and his wife. Various friends came in and out, extended family showed and did what they could to comfort and say their goodbyes.
By the evening it was my brother, son and myself staying the night. I did get some sleep while they keep watch, talked, held Joans hand.
The nurses were good, they kept up with the morphine, there was nothing else to do. One nurse came in late that night and commented she was very surprised after seeing the scan of the hemorrhage that she was alive.
That got my attention as I had not seen the scan. I asked if we could see it and she took us to the nurses station. The shadowing was massive. I asked about size and stuck that in memory. Basically it covered her entire right hemisphere.
Weeks later I would do some personal morbid research on these things and found that a bleed half that size was considered large, fatal in 2 to 48 hours by 97% of those who had them. So the hospital using words like massive was not a word lightly chosen. They meant massive. They meant no recovery.
The night went, I was resigned to the eventual outcome which I expected either that night or Sunday morning. The best I could hope for was Joans comfort until her body could not sustain itself.
Questions in my mind, was she still in there, was she trying to communicate with us? Did she know the decision I had made? Did she hate me for it? I was following our stated procedure for such events, but that didn't make it any easier.
Was she in pain but could not show it?
The bigger question, when Joan had the bleed, did she leave her body at that time and all I was watching was an empty shell or was she in there? Had she left sometime between Friday and Sunday, would she be there until last breath?
I have always believed in last breath, but I found myself hoping she had moved on in the restaurant Friday night and wasn't trapped in this dying body, wasn't experiencing any pain or suffering at all.
Sunday morning was arriving, the sun was coming up. People would be arriving. My son and brother needed sleep but they weren't leaving either. We all knew what was coming.
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