It is Saturday, November 2nd, and another day for the nurses and the dozens of humans who have outlived their lives. Among them walks a disheveled and unshaven man wearing a crooked crucifix.

“I want to go to church,” he tells every nurse who will listen. It was three or four nurses before one answered kindly.

“It’s Saturday, Mr. Gibbons. Church is on Sunday.”

For a moment he stood there, mouth moving silently (a symptom of dementia,) before answering.

“I want to go to church. I want to pray for my wife.”

The kindly nurse considered, paused on whether to tell the poor soul his wife had been dead for a decade and decided against it.

“It’s Saturday, Mr. Gibbons. We’ll have chapel tomorrow. On Sunday. I’m sure your wife will be there then.”

She felt a little guilty about the small lie, but Mr. Gibbons could never keep his dates straight, and it ended the conversation.

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20 April 2021