Lorena Imogene Barbour (1922-2005)

I spent part of this evening watching as mom, aunt and brother sifted through boxes upon boxes of my grandmother’s photos.

Her vitals had fallen yesterday, and the lady from hospice said it wouldn’t be much longer. There wouldn’t be time to bring her home. Family was called and we came to this foreign place to hold her hand.

How much thinner she was from just Thanksgiving.

How the structure of her face was visible.

How each of us would take turns bedside.

I looked at her more intently than perhaps I had ever looked at her before. Her skin, so radiant and clear. Her hair, although in disarray, was thick and mostly not gray. I wished selfishly for those genes.

She squeezed our hands and said things. I hovered inches from her mouth to hear the words, “It’s all been so wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful…” trailing off as she would close her eyes and give the hint of a great smile. Like she just had the best lemonade in the heat of summer.

These moments happened between abrupt starts of wide eyes and clutching. Clutching her robe, the oxygen line, the air. And then to sleep.

She passed shortly after the final family member left for the night. Peacefully.

12 responses to “Lorena Imogene Barbour (1922-2005)”

  1. davis Avatar

    Touching words, Chris.
    My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Sincerest condolences in this difficult time.

  2. angie Avatar

    thinking of you and your family, chris.

  3. Sean Avatar

    thanks for your thoughtful words chris. may your family take good care of each other during this time.

  4. andrés Avatar

    my sincere condolences.

  5. A.J. Avatar

    it was fortunate to finish together.

  6. Naz Avatar

    Thank you for sharing those last moments, Chris. You wrote it beautifully.
    Stay true and strong.

  7. neal gardner Avatar

    my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  8. duane Avatar

    Sorry for you loss. My condolences. Touching memory, well done.

  9. Catalina Avatar

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family Chris.
    Thank you for sharing this. You are such a beautiful writer.

  10. Brian Bird Avatar
    Brian Bird

    Our condolences, Chris. Thanks for sharing her with us online.

  11. chuck Avatar

    my thoughts are with you, chris. i have lost a brother and my mother. isn’t that whole process of death surreal?

  12. Laurie Fields Avatar
    Laurie Fields

    My condolences.
    We lost two people in our family: my husbands’ Nana and a family friend. Both lost to cancer.
    Your post was short and very sweet. Made me feel like I was there in the room.
    Glad she had family with her at the end.