Great Grandma is very old, and she has dementia. Her dementia is so far advanced that she suffers from frequent falls and can no longer care for herself. She needs reminders to eat, and someone has to help her at mealtimes. Her concerned family places her in a nursing home where she can receive around the clock care. Grandma is old, in fact, she is so old that her children are already senior citizens themselves. Longevity runs in their family.
Last week Grandma fell in the nursing home and broke her hip. Surgery was required to repair the damage. It was the first time the surgeon had performed surgery on a centenarian. The surgery went well, but due to Grandma's advanced age, recovery was difficult, and her condition worsened. She stopped eating and drinking, and the family decided that they would allow her to deprive herself of hydration and nutrition. Intravenous fluids were stopped and no enteral nutrition was provided. Grandma was dying. No one could force her to eat, and she had no desire to feed herself. Her family decided to let nature take its course.
I only met her today, and in the five minutes that it took to transport Grandma from the hospital back to her nursing home where she would surely die in the next few days, I leaned over her and whispered the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in her ear. I don't know if she heard me, but I know God was listening.