(updated 2/25/2020) Welcome to our Caring Bridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting Grace is now at Gilchrist hospice in Howard County in the same city where I live. She was at Sinai Hospital where she began experiencing seizures on Wednesday, February 19th. She had been experiencing a decline in health since December, 2019. Her ability to think, process, talk, feed herself, write, and use her phone had steadily declined. I wanted to set up this to continue to tell Grace's story. Naomi 2/27 update Thursday Grace died at 3:30 this morning. She died peacefully without pain. During the day today, I have been reaching to as many people as possible by phone or leaving messages. Grace will be laid to rest at Chesed Shel Emes Cemetary 5300 Southern Avenue in Capital Heights, Maryland, on Sunday, March 1 at 11 A. M. All are welcome to attend. For those unable to attend, there will also be a Shiva service at 3 PM at the Clubhouse at the Gathering at Jefferson Place in Ellicott City. Please let me know if you need directions for either the graveside burial or the Shiva service and I will send them to you. Thank you all for your expressions of love and support. For those who wish to give donations, please direct them to either the Gilchrist Hospice in Columbia Maryland or the Hebrew Free Burial Society in Rockville, Maryland. Naomi 2/26 update Wednesday The nurse at Gilchrist yesterday told me that Grace is beginning to experience changes in breathing and heart rate which indicate that the end to her journey is more quickly coming to an end and can probably be measured in hours or days rather than weeks. Grace continues to rest comfortably without pain. Dear friend, Ronni Emden, came by as well as Rabbi Amy Scheinerman. Beloved niece Michelle Scott came after work and beloved niece Karen Silverman brought beloved brother-in-law, Don Kochen to join me around Grace's bed. Grace was literally surrounded by her family and love, Karen read a beautiful letter which Grace had written to Karen when she on bed rest awaiting twins, Lucas and Arya. Michelle shared amusing anecdotes about nieces, Madelyn and Molly. It gave me the idea to close this posting with a poem that Grace wrote and had been published in King David's newsletter in December, 2019. I am not sure when Grace actually wrote it but to me it says it all! The title is : "It's Only "Temporary" When "temporary" means an end to pain; When smiles arise causing tears to wane.
A place which now I can barely see; Tomorrow brings hope and peace to me.
This hope for the future is today's light; It tells me that life is quite alright! Sunrise is joy, It's a brand new day- Smiles abound, perhaps, they will stay?
Today is hope and peace for me; The pain was only "temporary!"
2/25 update Tuesday Grace began to experience some seizures yesterday which the hospice staff is treating with medications. She does not seem to have any noticeable pain and appears to still be resting comfortably. I spent the day by her side. We were visited by friends Anne Seiler and Helene Tyler in the morning. Dear friend, Jill Eisner, also visited and read Grace's poetry to her. Jill has promised to help me finish the task that I had already started of compiling Grace's poetry in order to self-publish a book of Grace's poems. ( One of my regrets is that I was unable to finish this task in time for Grace to enjoy having her work published but during this journey with Grace, it seemed more important to spend available time with her directly.) Last night, Grace's beloved niece, Karen, spent time with her sharing their memories together. When I was there, Grace's beloved niece, Michelle, called from work and I held up the phone to Grace's ear so that Grace could hear Michelle's voice telling her how much she loved her! 2/24 update Monday Grace continues to rest peacefully at Gilchrist Hospice in Columbia, Maryland. Yesterday, we were visited by Ronni Emden, a beloved friend to Grace and to me. My daughter Michelle came and set up a CD player to softly play Grace's favorite Peter, Paul, and Mary songs. Our cousins Mary Shelley and Anna Maria came by and visited Grace and were also able to see my daughter Karen. Also, Grace's very special friend who has visited her every Sunday evening for the past ten years, Elisheva Paymar, came. Karen stayed after everyone left and shared with Grace very special memories that they had experienced together. As Karen talked to her, Karen observed changes in Grace's facial expressions which indicated that Grace was hearing and understanding her.
2/23 update Sunday Grace was sleeping peacefully when I left her late yesterday afternoon with the help of pain and anxiety medications. In the morning when I arrived she was in considerable pain as the Gilchrist staff worked to achieve the correct dosages of medication. I met with the weekend doctor to arrange her plan of care to keep her as comfortable and pain free as possible. As I met with him, Michelle and Karen were with Grace. I believe she recognized the three of us! In the early afternoon, Rabbi Amy Scheinerman visited Grace and met with the three of us which was exceptionally helpful as we undertake this final jouney with Grace. Grace was also visited by Dr Mary Speth who had been her beloved psychologist for the eight years she lived at Milford Manor/ King David nursing home. This visit by Dr. Mary was also unbelievably helpful to me as she affirmed what I know to be Grace's wishes not to be kept alive by artificial means and her state of mind as Dr. Mary met with her weekly. In the afternoon, my beloved sister-in-law, Dolly Willinger visited with Grace and me as Grace slept peacefully. We read Grace's poetry to her as well as Psalms and talked with her as we looked through a photo album of Grace from her early years to recently. I am heading back to Gilchrist shortly!