He Died Happy
The lady was a patient new to my practice. I was taking a history of her and becoming familiar with her. Questions relating to previous illnesses, current problems, and her social history were asked and being answered, in part as follows.
Me: ”Are you married and living with your husband?”
Patient: “No, I’ve been widowed for three years,” followed by a reflective pause, and then,”but he died happy.”
I looked at her quizzically and she said, “Yes, I know he was happy. It happened on a Sunday morning. That’s when we usually, you know, ‘fooled around.’ We had just made love, and then he rolled over on his side and died. That’s how I know he died happy.”
There was a moment of silence as I digested the information, tacitly acknowledged this bit of intimate information, and then proceeded with my questions and subsequent exam and treatment.
I saw the lady over subsequent years for various problems and treatments, and several times as she left the office she stopped, put her hand on my arm and said, “Yes, I know he died happy.”
I think she was a wise and perceptive woman.