I meet them when they are terminally ill. They still talk but weak. I touch their feet, dry nails and sometimes with fungus. As I massage their chest with eucalyptus oil, they take their few breaths while attached to their oxygen. I also massage their stomach as they lay their hands on it and controlling the pain. Some of them hide their pain from their love ones.

During the last days, half their bodies are so weak so you tell when their eyes are not equally open and their heads leaning more on the left as if a heavy weight is on their right side.

They smile as I massage their body thankful of the human touch.

Their moaning at night tell a battle of cancer bugs inside winning. They are sweating from the fight as their lower legs becoming cold, their upper body still warm.

I say a prayer and they respond with me as we say the word “Amen”.

Connie Dello Buono

caregiver and owner of Motherhealth caregivers serving the hospice clients in the bay area

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