My wife had wrote this a mere 10 minutes ago and had me read it. I was moved to tears and I thought I should share it.
Yesterday the patient that I had been taking care of since July passed away. I never expected to feel the way that I do. Granted I tend to get emotionally involved and I always feel sad but this person, this woman, she was different. I started to look at her as if she was my own family. I had gotten word that she took a turn for the worst over Christmas, but I figured, “she had good days, she had bad, I would see for myself when I went back.” I went back yesterday. She looked horrible…
I have seen this enough to know that that was it. It was just such a hard day. Now what I am about to share to you is rather personal, then again, I’m not sure who will all read this or care to, but I feel like it’s ok to share this.
Her son had gotten there about 20 to 2. He came in, like per usual, told his mother how much he loved her, and I saw the heart break in him. I was trying to get passed the fact that I too was feeling emotional, as heartless as it may sound, there’s a time and a place and at that time, I had a job to do, any emotion would simply cause me to not do it right. He walked out, her eyes were open. This lifeless body for one reason or the other was trying so hard to hang out despite her pain. I went over to her, held her hand and she looked up to me. I said to her, “Although everyone is going to miss you something bad, they are going to be ok. They love you and you did such a great job raising this family.” She looked at me and then passed away. I was in the room with her as she took her last breath. Just me, and her.
There was something so incredibly sweet in that, but so very saddening. I went out, told the family, came back in waited till they were able to say what they needed to say, then proceeded to clean her up, by myself, one last time. I have no clue how I was able to do this. I do know though that it wasn’t until I had gotten in the car that I had lost it.
I feel like with in that conversation between her and I, my life changed. It wasn’t just the fact that since July, Monday through Saturday, I was the one who took care of her, but in that time, I started to get attached as much as I hate to admit it. And it was that last connection between the both of us that I felt like I had learned so much.
You only get one life….
I had spent my whole life neglecting myself and taking care of myself that I know right now, that if I were to die, I would have regrets.
This is it.
I learned just how important my family is to me. And when I say family I don’t mean the ones that I’m blood related to with the exception of Mara. But just how I know that if I had to go the way she did, as slow as she did, unlike her, all she had was me, to see her in the good times and bad. My family wouldn’t make me do it alone.
I love her. I told her that before when she was having a good day. She smiled at me and said that I had a pretty shirt on and that she loved me. It was one of her good days so I took that all in. And I only wish that I could thank her for showing me things that I needed to be shown. Like what I want in life, who I am, what I have.
Yesterday her son looked at me and said, “Thank you Donna. Who would have thought such a caring angel like yourself would be my neighbor?” You can’t imagine how great that felt to hear. For the first time to be appreciated for doing what I did.
Yesterday my amazing husband was there to great me when I came home, crying hard. He stayed up till midnight with me, eating junk food and watching The Walking Dead. He also felt the need to go on his Facebook to try and get others to help cheer me up. I had the most amazing and loving husband of all time. Thank you honey….
My whole life I never really had anyone to talk to. To be there for me until I met my husband. Still the only person who has ever been, if you need anyone to talk to, I’m always here. Until last night. I had some really surprising and amazing people get a hold of me to tell me basically that I was appreciated and if I need someone to talk to, they are there. I never felt like I had that before again with the exception of Johnny. There are people I am sad that I was hoping to hear from, but learned where I stood with them, and people who acknowledged me and showed care that I was pleasantly surprised.
Thank you everyone. And even though she isn’t here to hear it, I want to say thank you Jean. I still feel incredibly sad. I hadn’t had someone pass away in front of me since my dad. And I feel like I can find peace now in because of it. Most of the people that I have taken care of was alone when they did it. But for what ever reason, these two people chose for me to be in the room with them. And I was able to help Jean find what ever it was that she needed to finally let go.
I should stop writing now and to those who actually read this WHOLE thing lol. I’m sorry it is so long and if you texted me, and are reading this. Thank you for helping to show me I’m not alone.