Mr. Anmol is dying.
He has been dying for some time now, but this seems like the end.
For the last 2 days he has hardly taken any water - let alone food. He is quiet and tired.
Mr. Anmol has HIV - as do most of the friends whose homes our staff visit. He also has cancer. Its the cancer that finally is killing him.
Mr. Anmol's sisters were very angry when they found out he had HIV. He had been hiding this from them for years while living with them. As a family of Anmol as an aging batchelor and his sisters - similarly aging spinsters - this was hardly happy news. The ladies were so angry that Anmol had kept it hidden from them. They were afraid and tried to keep him to his room. Our staff went many times to talk with the family. As Mr. Anmol has grown sicker his sisters have become a shade kinder.
A male nurse comes to clean and help Anmol these days. He doesn't speak much but appreciates the visits.
Yesterday he talked to Jesus. Anmol prayed and put his trust in the man who left heaven to taste death for us, in the God who also rose gloriously on the third day. Anmol has been far more at peace since he prayed.
How many more hours to go? Is this the very end? It seems like it, but we just don't know. Dying is not easy.
Sheba has brought the death certificate book at home. When the call from Anmol's sisters comes - at whatever time of night it may be - she will go over to the home and certify that Mr. Anmol has passed away. Slipped into the beyond.
"Don't write 'AIDS' on his death certificate" the sisters insist. Sheba has told them that she will write "immuno-compromised" and "cancer".
What does immuno-compromised mean?" asked one of the sisters.
"It means his immunity was reduced - most often this is due to having HIV" answered Sheba.
"Well don't write that!" she replied.
Sheba helped the sister to understand that her brother's HIV status would not be visible to people based the death certificate - as the sister herself did not know what it meant.
A man is dying. Its a sad - a wretched situation. We know that death is *not* normal. We would be no better than stones if we did not feel the essential gut-kick of knowing that a life is about to end.
But death is also a doorway into another country - a life far different from the long stretches of misery that has been Anmol's life so far.
Eternity is very long. And the longue-duree of forever makes the present - even a 90 year long today - with whatever glories or follies we experience - seem a mere wink of an eye.
Fairwell sweet prince Anmol. You will be waiting for us.