I am a grandma whisperer. I’m often called to visit little old ladies who have lost their ability to communicate with words. If there aren’t caregivers or medical records to give me history on a dying person, I have to be a detective. I have to rely on my intuition.
It’s not always easy to figure out what a furrowed brow is saying. It could mean physical discomfort, the pain of loneliness, or an aching heart. Knit eyebrows could be conveying hopelessness, helplessness, or uncertainty about what is next. A furrowed brow could simply suggest the need for a blanket or an open window. This gesture might also be an expression of fear, confusion, or the desire to leave this world. It could also suggest hunger, thirst, constipation, or a full bladder.
I look beyond the brow. I offer food, drink, a warm blanket, a bath, a change of clothes, clean sheets, a foot or back rub, a fresh breeze, song, and always reassuring touch. During this process, I can tell if someone is in physical pain and medicate accordingly. Sometimes these offerings can relieve physical and emotional pain.
What if we used these simple remedies for anyone who isn’t offering words to describe their distress?
To learn more about Enduring Love: Inspiring Stories of Love and Wisdom at the End of Life, please visit: www.enduringlovebook.com