Life is so precious, spread love and tenderness everyday, to everyone. Life is so short enjoy every breath and appreciate all the beautiful things and people around you!
She was a young, successful and beautiful lady, a stunning mother of 3 young children with a proud husband. They were a happy and healthy family. She liked to take walks by the sea shore hand in hand with her husband as the children made sand castles and played fetch with the dog. Life couldn't be more blissful until that day. The day she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer metastasized to indefinite locations. I say "she" to protect her identity, because she was one of my patients and her privacy means everything to me. Soon after the cancer was diagnosed she attempted chemotherapy. She wanted to heal and move on, to be strong for her family, she wanted to battle this, she wanted to be a fighter.
The treatments made her weak, her long luscious hair all fell out strand by strand, her plump and youthful skin became dry and thin, her weight decreased daily as she couldn't tolerate food anymore.
Finally, the doctor gave her a terminal diagnosis and she was admitted to hospice. And here she was, in the hospital bed. A small frail little woman lying down with knees bent to her chest. She has felt pain as excruciating as burning alive.
The kind-hearted mother and gentle wife, here she was in her last stages of life. Her husband stood beside her kneeling on the floor, crying tears of deep emotional turmoil, he held her weak cold hand to his warm face as he wept with painful sighs.
On the other side of the bed was a warm-faced woman, her glasses were wet with tears. I looked into her eyes and saw the deep sorrow, the dark under eyes, the depressive gravity pulling at her face. How must the emotion of having to bury your child be? The child you gave life to, sacrificed everything in the world for their happiness. And now, here is your little girl, helpless, terminally ill, too lethargic to speak, deeply fatigued just by the act of clinging to life. The lovely woman with jolly cheeks was now empty, as if she has lost everything in the world, like a jail, trapped in your own body. I looked into her eyes and felt her soul, the pain, the regrets, the confusion. As I glanced into her eyes she released a heavy sigh and I grabbed her into my arms for comfort, she sobbed for what felt like hours. I cried with her, sharing the emotions her sad beating heart was feeling.
I looked to my left and the husband was in the corner of the room sitting down on the carpet head down to knees, crying, sobbing loudly with pain. The tall, handsome marine was now vulnerable to uncontrollable emotional pain. The children came into the room and looked at us confusingly, their innocent little eyes glanced deeply, asking what was going on, if mommy wanted to play ball with them. "Mommy is just resting," said the dad with an emotional low pitched voice as he wiped his tears. " Why are you crying, daddy?" Said the older child. The grandmother then tended to them.
I went beside the lovely soul in the bed and caressed her face gently, her eyes looked into mine. Her big beautiful brown eyes had an angelic glow, sparkling like a fairy. "Are you in any pain?" I asked. She continued to look at me as I felt all the emotions of her soul. She smiled softly and with a very long pause she slowly replied "No".
She was a different person now, one connected to the source, with one foot here on earth and another with the angels. The energy emitted from her essence was undeniably angelic. Although her body was cachectic and deteriorating from the cancer eating her from the inside out, her soul was radiating out from within her with brilliance. "Rest now darling, everything will be ok". I said. She smiled at me softly and closed her eyes.
It's experiences like these that mesmerize me with emotions of love and compassion, leading me to the realization that all that ever matters is the love. Having a job where I can sooth the pain of a soul is not only a privilege, it's what I was made for doing, my life's purpose, the only thing that grounds me to true reality. And although hard, Nursing has been a refuge and a sanctuary for my soul to grow into.
I have shed a lot of tears, including now as I write this, but I feel proud of my sensitivity, my vulnerability to empathy and enjoy shedding the layers of superficiality for the benefit of humanity. I wanted to share this with you as a reminder to appreciate life, love the people around you and to consider the things you take for granted.Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
Apr 5I believe Hospice nurses are only partially of this world. Yea, when they are home with their families they walk, talk, eat, sleep, love, and interact with their loved ones and others just like the loving, parent, child, friend, relative...fill in the blank they are. But when they "check in" for the next Hospice shift there is a transformation that occurs...they become an extension of God himself, His facilitator, His agent for bringing His children home, the area of nursing "NOT" of this world where patients are prepared, comforted, and allowed to "blow out the candle" and move on to eternal life.
Thank you, asaltu2011, and thank God for Hospices nurses!!Apr 10Thank you for sharing this beautiful story that reminds us of the important compassionate role that we as nurses play. And thank you for being there in such a wonderful way for those nearing the end of life.Apr 12Its an honour and privilege to be there through every step of my pts life. Compassion and empathy are highly important in our role. Thank you for reading )
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