My father is a car person, so growing up, it was common to have copies of the Kelley Blue Book at our house — references to this guidebook and its contents were, and still are, a familiar part of our family vernacular. So, days after entering the Comfort House, when Dad hopefully asked, “Have you read the blue book,” I was a little confused. Then he handed me a copy of Gone From My Sight and I immediately realized why he was recommending it…it was simply written book of what to expect when someone is dying–gave a summary of what it looked like from three months out until minutes before death. We finally had guideline, but still recognized, with the condition of her heart, she could pass away at any moment.
Over the past three weeks, we’ve read, re-read and daily asked each other, “What does the blue book say?” It’s become our new language–we’ve nearly memorized this booklet, poured over it, and dissected the wording to determine if we can pin down when she might pass–we vacillate between days or 1-2 weeks.
Based on the new ‘blue book’, we came up with an algorithm for her passing: congestion is worse, but she’s still responding; she’s slept most of the day, but had three bites of chicken enchilada at the table for supper–that puts her at 1-2 weeks. Trusted friends who have been down this road so many times it’s a well-worn path, noted she was still responding, which could mean 7 to 10 days…which means about 1-2 weeks.
Yesterday, she slept 13 hours straight and drank half of an Ensure, then in the evening in an agitated state, tried to get out of bed. This morning, her eyes were closed and face had no affect when I let her know I was with her; she can’t drink anymore, but had one word responses. According to the blue book…her time is closer.
Then her youngest grandson came to hold her hand and blow kisses–her responding has drastically increased, whose wouldn’t?