I feel that I have been in an instructional class to learn how to die. Watching and waiting for the changes that are outlined in the syllabus, and there is a syllabus. A small blue book that tells you what to look for through end stage.
The staff enlightening each day, pointing out when something has changed, however minor it may seem. All these changes add up, the transformation finally complete.
Just as you have convinced yourself that,no, it could last a bit longer, you are suddenly confronted with the reality. It has happened.
Everyone is a little surprised by the abruptness. We are all gripped with emotion. We feel great sadness, but there is a touch of joy. It says: "you are released from pain, from bondage. Go, fly away, you are free"!
There is more, of course, the question, "what do we do now", directed to the RN, who cannot answer. Eventually, we move, we make minor decisions, we embrace, we go home.
But, we are changed forever by what we have seen. We know, we will see this again, we will be this. It is undeniable. It is humanity.
Here is a poem for Charlie: