The End wasn't difficult. It did take a lot longer than I expected.
I was under the impression your heart starts failing, and you've got a couple movies left in you. Nope. Apparently you can continue on for years. The whole time you can be making lots of decisions about what to do and who to be.
In the last few months, I helped take care of him. By this time, some of the gaskets were leaking and we'd have some clean-up duty. There'd be meals to prepare and sheets to wash and light conversations to have and much nodding and compassion as we looked each other deeply.
Here comes the end. We both knew it. We were all ready for it. No rush, and no need to continue. Affairs were in order.
All the things he'd wanted to do were no longer on the table. All choices were starting to take their place in the past, like roadside spectators watching runners shuffle to the finish line of a long race.
Alas, the finisher. The one holding his hands up high; in acknowledgement of all the effort put in to get where he was today.
Cheers of approval. Quiet stares of acknowledgement between members of the crowd. Appreciation for the process and the race and today's finisher. He did it!