Three old ladies, of whom I was one, visited Mrs. E this afternoon in her home. Each of us had been called and told Mrs. E now was sleeping most of the time--and that her body "was beginning to shut down." The hospice nurse said that this very elderly woman (approaching 100 years) will live only a very few more days. She drank a little water last night, but none today. I offered Mrs. E some newly picked black raspberries a couple of times, which I know she loves, but she did not respond.
Mrs. E received the Sacrament of the Sick and Dying about three weeks ago in her last hospital stay, and appeared quite happy when the priest confirmed all her sins were forgiven her. Her granddaughter has been saying the rosary with her. This afternoon we three old ladies prayed three rosaries at the bedside of Mrs. E. During the first rosary, Mrs. E attempted to make the responses, but then seemed to be asleep.
The very small bedroom of Mrs. E is very Catholic. Above the head of the bed is a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. On one side wall, someone has framed about six or seven very old Holy Cards belonging to Mrs. E's mother, who died about 25 years ago. A crucifix hangs on the opposite wall. At the foot of the bed is a dresser on which is placed a statue of the baby Jesus in His Mother Mary's arms.
After the last rosary, one of us recommended we all pray the Act of Contrition to ask God for forgiveness for our sins. It is a good prayer to say at the bedside of a dying person because his/her hearing is usually the last sense to be lost. Please keep Mrs. E and her family in your prayers over the next few days, then remember to pray for her as a possible poor soul in purgatory.