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Here's what the end of life is like for a woman who is approaching her final days on Earth.

When you reach the end of the line, life gets ... challenging. Here's what that looks like for one person and some of her family.

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Evelyn was the primary caregiver for her husband for the last 10 years of his life. As she could see her own last days approaching, she decided to let some folks at the Los Angeles Times document what it was like as her children and relatives and other caregivers helped her through it day by day.

Ultimately, it's those caregivers who can make such endings as gentle as they can be, with some dignity, too.


This is Evelyn in her younger days.


Images from "Lessons in Caregiving" by the Los Angeles Times.

And this is the same Evelyn as she prepares for her end of days.

It's not easy, hearing from your doctor that your time is coming and signing papers about what that means.

"I still feel like a young kid," she said. "I feel like jumping rope if I could, going roller skating. But I can't do it anymore."

Her zest for life can be seen in pictures like this:

But let's let Evelyn tell her own story.

I'd be lying if I said it wasn't heartbreaking.

But it's also strangely calming, at least to me.

Having that dignity as you approach the end of life is something we all deserve. I realize that some of us won't have that luxury, and still others will simply disappear in the middle of the night — with just memories and photographs and children and other artifacts left behind to honor a lifetime.

I only hope I can approach my last days on earth with some dignity and a wee bit of joy, as Evelyn did.