I've mentioned a few times about how Hillary was withdrawing from the needs and cares of this world in her last couple of weeks. This is one of the things that I had read about and was at least theoretically expecting.
It was hard to tell how much of this was voluntary and how much was just due to the damage the advancing cancer was doing. I guess that's something that many of us will know at some point. But will we be past communicating that at the time?
It was another thing entirely to realize it when it was happening. I had been seeing it for a few days before it really hit home. Hillary was in the palliative ward by this point and I had asked or suggested that I bring the kids by for a bit that evening. Her response to that was effectively, "Not tonight."
She knew at that point that she was dying and it was going to be soon. Whether or not she believed it is an open question, of course. That reaction of not wanting to see the kids shocked me. I listened to her that night.
Looking back on those last weeks and month, I wonder when this withdrawing really started. At what point had Hillary moved to experiencing life just as it was right at that moment? At what point had she just stopped worrying about building relationships for the future? Whether conscious or not, I am fairly certain that did happen.
In case it hasn't been obvious before when I've rambled about these topics, I absolutely am not being critical here. Or negative. Or anything like that. I think Hillary was as close to at peace as anyone in that situation could be. I have no regrets about that.
On subsequent days when there was a window of time where I could bring the kids in, I didn't ask first.
I think these little visits with the kids meant more to me than Hillary. I don't know. She never really told me if they were good or bad. By this point, had she completely deferred to my judgement and put me in charge of all medical decisions.
That level of trust is brutal.
She was leaving the rest of the decisions to me. That included what I did with the kids.
In hindsight, that was part of the handover of responsibilities. Some of the last ones.