May 8, 2014, 10:55 AM, Posted by Brent Thompson
One evening several years ago, as my grandmother suffered through a painful end to her long life, our family gathered around her bedside at a hospital in South Jersey. She had been unconscious most of the day, but various family members, including my grandfather—her husband of six decades—had kept vigil at her bedside because they wanted to be with her in her last moments.
I was the last to arrive.
Shortly after I joined my family in the room, her physician showed up, checked her charts, and pronounced her “pretty much fine under the circumstances.” Then the doctor hurried off to complete his rounds.
My weary family, girding for the possibility of another long night at the hospital, decided to go downstairs for a bite to eat and some coffee. Because I had just arrived, I wanted some time alone with my grandmother, so I stayed behind in the room.