nurse I had the strongest conviction that no one should die alone. In my
career I sat at the bedside of many who were dying and stroked their brow or
sang softly in their ear while they passed on.
The last sense to leave humans is our sense of
hearing. I always talked to my patients, letting them know who I was and
that I was there to comfort them and take care of them.
The farmer came to my unit
because he had been using a chemical to spray his fields, and subsequently developed
bruises all over his body. He was eventually diagnosed with a rare leukemia, a result of the chemicals.
I let him know his brothers
and family had helped Mary with the harvesting of the crops. I told him his son
was doing fine and I let him know all the details that Mary had given me. I assured him that everything had been
taken care of and I let him know that it was okay to let go and be at peace. He died
She looked me in the eye and added that it may not seem like much, but it was a pin her husband had given her when they were dating. She said he gave it to her during a time when many were warning her not to marry a man so much older than herself.
She told me how she adored him and how over the years he had treated her like a queen and how he made her feel so loved. She told me how the cross had given her such comfort over the years and how she felt compelled to give it to me.
Before I could respond, she went on to
say how she knew her husband would
want me to have it. I graciously accepted her
token of appreciation, we cried and hugged, but not tears of
sadness. They were tears of resolution and a closure of sorts.
I go over each item and
I remember the patients, the families, think back to those times and the act
of recalling those memories never
fails to uplift me and make me feel better.
I was present and shared in events when people overcame their tragedies. I watched as families grew stronger as a unit, as well as stronger in their faith as individuals. I have seen great courage and I have participated in miracles.
I have learned that people are amazing creatures, and all of us are faced daily with opportunities to share, learn and grow.
Each of us is continuing on our journey in spite of the obstacles or because of them. I feel I am a better person for having experienced these events and I thank you for the opportunity to share my memories.
(c) March 2003