The Jabberwocky Community lost a good friend last week. Virginia Hackney passed away after a strong battle with cancer and we’ll all miss her. She was always generous, high spirited and very considerate of others. Here is her father’s email message:
“Friends and Fans of Virginia —
Virginia died at about 5 AM this morning. As Judy Fisher and the Hospice folks have been telling us, she died as she lived, full of determination and and being as active as possible. As the scope of her favorite activities began to shrink because of physical condition, her body also began to close down. Mary Beth and Allison picked Virginia up in her wheel chair for lunch yesterday, after we realized that we had failed to change her morphine patch on Wednesday. Caroline Croft changed the patch, and that helped calm her spirits almost immediately, so she was in a good mood when she trundled up Main Street toward the Black Dog. Lunch did not go perfectly. The group ordered, but Virginia was in some discomfort. Finally, she said she wanted to go home. Her friends obliged. When Judy Fisher heard what had happened at the restaurant, she came right away and spent a long time with Virginia. From this consultation came a change in the medicines to make Virginia more comfortable, and a change in the “companionship” regime. Someone would be with her at all times. Mary Beth and Allison volunteered to be on duty last night. Virginia was delighted as they are very special people in her life. At the end of her session with Judy Fisher, Virginia said, “I want to be with my family.” She came out of her bedroom in her wheelchair and sat with visitors (Tomar Waldman and Mary beth Norton) and family members. She remained subdued but alert through supper. Mary Beth and Allison came back at 7:30 PM, prepared to camp out with Virginia for the night. Virginia went to bed.
Mary Beth knocked on our bedroom door about five o’clock and said, “Things are changing.” We went down immediately and Virginia was peaceful and still. Her two companions told us later that Virginia was awake and asleep all night. At one point, she looked at Mary Beth, sitting by her bedside, and said, “Lie down and get some sleep.” Later, she asked to sit up. After a few minutes sitting, she asked to lie down. Lying down, she coughed gently a few times and was quiet. That is when Mary Beth fetched us.
We soon all agreed that she was probably gone, so we called Hospice and Dr. Fisher. They came quickly and determined that Virginia was dead. Ann was there helping. Our children and grandchildren arrived right away, as did Caroline. It was a comfort to have such a loving crowd telling stories, sharing memories, shedding tears. Rob Hensley, Virginia’s pastor at Grace Church led us in prayer as we crowded around Virginia’s bed.
The funeral service has just taken her body to the funeral home. We have begun to think about what to do next. We have a meeting with the funeral director this afternoon and will probably make decisions there.
Meanwhile, we are thankful for Virginia’s amazing life. She was an inspiration in death as in life.
We are blessed — Sheldon”