A few posts back – entitled The Sadness – I wrote about a lady who was slowly on her way out. On Tuesday, August 21st at 6am she finally left. I wasn’t there, but found out about it today.
It’s always hard when someone passes on. Even if you’re not particularily close with them, it’s still a very profound loss that you can’t help but feel. In the case of this angel, I worked very close with her for the last 2 years, so eventhough her passing wasn’t a shock, it was still difficult. I know she’s in a better place & she isn’t suffering anymore, which makes it some what easier. It was difficult to walk into her room and not have her yell at me. Or not here her mumbling to herself. The room was empty, both physically and spiritually.
This is a part of the job that not a lot of people talk about, and I touched on this earlier on. If not for us, taking care of her, talking to her, holding her hand and just being there, she would have died all alone. In my 2 years I have only seen ONE person come to see her. We became her family, and when a family member dies it isn’t easy. Eventhough she couldn’t express it, we have no doubt that she cared about us too.
This isn’t the first time someone I cared for has passed away. I believe I’ve gone through close to 10 at this point. There was one man’s passing that I’ll never forget.
I was assisting a co-worker with bathing a gentleman and during the bed bath his breathing became tense and his skin was slowly turning blue. My co-worker left to get the nurse while I just held his hand, and before they could return he was gone. For some reason, people seem to think that when you’re in a room with a dead body it’s scary. Scary isn’t even close to it. It’s a very profound moment. Even if you didn’t know the individual, to watch them stop breating… it’s just. I don’t know how to describe it. It was sad, I guess that’s the only word I can use. But it was also an experience I won’t forget. We continued to clean him and dress him so that he would be ready for when his family came.
Unfortunately, these days don’t stop coming. All I can do is make their stay as comfortable and happy as possible. And I’ll do anything I can do make sure that happens.