That’s All Folks

I’ve been told a lot of stories over the years about people’s last words.

Some of them make me laugh.

Some of them give me chills.

Some bring tears to my heart.

I’ll never forget sitting with my friend many years ago as she told me about her mom’s passing.  We were sitting at this friend’s house eating Lays Potato Chips with bacon chip dip as she told me the events of her mother’s death.   That’s not important to the story.  But it’s been thirty years and I still remember it.  Her mom lay on her bed, in her home, with her children around her.  Her mom had not spoken or been awake for some time, at least a couple of days.   Suddenly her mom opened her eyes, said “Hello Jesus” and passed away.

That one made me smile.  And feel so very good.

One friend told me about how she worked in a nursing home.  A lady lie dying.  They didn’t let people who had no one, die alone.  In this case they didn’t have to worry.   But still, my friend stayed with her.  My friend sat by the bed, holding the elderly lady’s hand.  She felt someone come in the room and walk behind her to the other side of the bed.  But when my friend looked up to speak, no one was there.  The elderly lady’s head turned to the other side of the bed where no one could be seen.  And smiled.  And died.  This one has been told to me in many different ways, by many different people.   Going to see the elderly over the years, many of them told me stories of their loved ones passing.  And as they lie dying, most without having spoken or having opened their eyes in long periods of time, open their eyes and smile at someone or something they can’t see, and then they die.  Peacefully and with a smile on their face.

This always gives me calm.  Reassurance.

I was told once that my aunt’s aunt, when she passed, said “that’s all folks” and died.

That makes me laugh.

Death doesn’t frighten me.  But what I leave behind makes me want to live a life of joy, and depth, and character.  When I go I hope to leave behind some semblance of reassurance, peace, and calm.

And smiles.