When Jane's husband John died in January, 1991, it was expected that Jane, who was suffering from bone cancer, would follow him within a matter of days. Instead, she would live another eighteen months, much of that time with great difficulty. Loretta soon fell into a pattern of spending her weekends with Jane in her Palos Verdes Estates apartment, relieving Jane's daughter Hilary.
Jane's world was now reduced to one bedroom with a view of a quiet street, heavily shaded by massive eucalyptus trees. It would be while sharing this single room that her and Loretta's friendship would achieve it's deepest moments. They had known each other since meeting at the Ramona Convent School at age eleven and now they discussed intimacies that had never been breached. Jane likened it to being on a constant spiritual retreat where she was able to find a context to help her accept her suffering. Loretta found the sharing in such a vulnerable time of her friend's life, one of the best gifts that God had ever given her. Never was it clearer that the sense of having the best of this world comes during those periods when one is convinced that they are doing exactly what God wants them to be doing.
Loretta prepared Jane's meals and served her, and washed the dishes afterward. She helped her with the bedpan. She brushed her hair and helped her put on makeup. When Jane started suffering bouts of depression and was afraid of being alone, Loretta moved into her room and slept on the sofa couch. Jane felt safest when Loretta was with her and would steel herself to get through the week until Loretta's arrival on each weekend. Finally, on August 31, 1992, Jane died. The day before, she had opened her eyes and looked at Loretta, and the last word she was to say was, "Gretch" as she smiled at her friend before closing her eyes for the last time and drifting into unconsciousness.