At 84, my mother refused open heart surgery that might have left her demented or bound for a nursing home. She was willing to face the limits of life and medicine. Because honest doctors told her that without surgery she was likely to die within two years, she seized the time (it turned out to be 5 months) to say, "Thank you, I love you, Please forgive me, I forgive you, goodbye." She died too soon for my taste, but that is the uncontrollable nature of dying. She was lucid and continent to her end, avoided Hail Mary surgeries and the ICU, and died comfortably on an inpatient hospice unit.
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