I was with her this morning, holding her hand when she joined me, lucid for a few moments.
She started crying.
I have so much pain, she said.
I’ll call the nurse, and she’ll give you something to take the pain away.
I am so afraid, she said.
It’s okay, sweetheart. Give your fears to me. I’m happy to carry them for you.
I love everyone so much, she said.
And we all love you. You are blessed by having a wonderful family, and amazing friends. Everyone loves you so much. You are so lucky.
But I don’t have any faith, she said.
I don’t know, maybe you do. And the people who love you have more than enough faith. They’re happy to share.
So why don’t you come with me, sweetheart. Let’s go to a place that makes you happy.
I think you’re sitting on a beach with Brian, in Adirondack chairs. It’s the early evening, so the beach is deserted, and that beautiful golden light is shining. The waves rush, and crash on the shore. I think that you’re drinking a glass of red wine, and Brian has a beer. You’re holding hands. No need to talk. Zack might even be there, fetching a ball, or diving in the surf. Is that a place that would make you happy?
She didn’t answer, but rewarded me with a wisp of a smile, so gentle and sweet.
I kissed her forehead and left.
Outside the room, I wept, for my little sister will be taken from me soon. It is the greatest injustice I can imagine.
I have no words left. But I’m grateful for the grace that touched me when I needed it most.