Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The business of dying

I see death often where I work. Not the grim reaper with his scythe and black cape. Less fantastical, but just as traumatic, watching someone take their last breath. Here is something I wrote awhile back after just such an experience...

Rasping breaths, the unmistakable sound of death slowly becoming victor, filled the quiet calm of the room. Loved ones gathered around united for a moment in the face of a common enemy, mortality. Every face showed signs of a different struggle, bitterness, anger, sadness and grief beyond words. You could almost here everyone counting the seconds between each breath, wondering which would be his last, half hoping the struggle would just end, yet pleading for one more breath. Just one more. We're not ready to let go, not yet, please.. quiet prayers lifted up to an unseen God. It never got easier, watching a family go through death. Old, young, expected or unexpected, it was never easy. A cold tear slipped down my cheek, I let it linger. It didn't matter if I was too emotionally involved, I wanted the family to know I grieved with them. How can I not hurt with families, when I already know what they are feeling all too keenly? A breath is exhaled. We wait... It's over.

1 comment:

Jane Swanson said...

This is what makes you a good nurse and an amazing human being. Christ has transformed your heart to feel His compassion and concern. How blessed these families are to have you.