My mother always planned to spend her last days in Fair Acres, the Delaware County, PA home for the aged. Thanks to my brother’s efforts, when she could no longer live alone, she entered Fair Acres. I think even if she didn’t have a private room, she enjoyed being cared for in some of the ways Diana Athill describes. Mom even managed to find a way to keep smoking–something strictly forbidden even so many years ago.
When I last visited my mother, a few weeks before her death, she woke briefly from a semi-coma and gave me a radiant smile. She also died the night before she was to be moved from the bed she had occupied for many years. It faced a window toward the west and allowed her to see the sunset, something that she loved doing and encouraged us to do. It was my first Be With Beauty exercise. When there was not beautiful sunset, she always said “Maybe tomorrow.” and that helped me stay optimistic, no matter how bad things were at the moment. Thank you Mom.
As we age many of us are contented with less and less. Athill is lucky, she ca afford the best. I think I will be content as long as my basic needs are met and my computer, my fingers, eyes and brain work enough to attend to my email and write a bit. Stay Strong.