I was almost afraid of walking into work this morning because I knew what I was walking into. No matter how many times it happens – and it happens A LOT in my line of work – dealing with someone’s death never gets easier. I’m not sure why, but this one specifically has been difficult to deal with.

You were still there when I arrived, but your spirit had left 2 hours earlier. Seeing you all alone in your room, still, quiet and no breath was difficult to come to terms with. I took comfort in the knowledge that you were finally at peace. I sat beside you for a while, talked to you and told you how I privileged felt taking care of such a wonderful woman. But you weren’t there. It was just a shell. Cold skin with off-white colouring and stiff limbs. Where did you go? I hope you’re drinking tea with all the others that had gone before you.

Her body lay to rest for the rest of my shift, quietly in her room until the funeral parlour came to pick her up. A body cannot be released until a doctor has come to pronounce a person dead and the death certificate is signed. Well, when someone’s dead, an on call doctor doesn’t rush over to do anything. Other than a once over and a piece of paper, there’s nothing more to be done.

I didn’t cry even though I wanted to. I felt guilty for not doing so, as if I was heartless and uncaring. I know this isn’t true. I don’t know how to explain this in words, but when you work in a profession where death is a very big part of the game, you tend to just… get used to it, for lack of a better word. I think it’s easier for me because I know this is my job. These aren’t people I’ve grown up with, or have been close to for 30 or 40 years. I knew them, but they aren’t MY family. If it was my family, God help me I think 7 deaths would send me to the nut house.

I definitely deserved my pedicure after work today. My toes are so pretty.

One thought on “goodbye.

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