attending wakes/funerals - page 2

I am an oncology nurse who attends wakes of patients I have been close to. I find great closure in this, but some of my co-workers are resistant to the practice. I am wondering how other nurses... Read More

  1. by   FutureNurse2005
    I am not yet a nurse, but I know myself, and I can guarantee that I would do my best to attend, and if I could not attend, then a card would be sent at the very least.
    The only exception would be if I did not have much time with the pt.
    If there is a closeness with a pt, then by all means!
  2. by   rreed
    I have never went to a funeral of a patients.

    but something that really touched me
    my bother's child (nephew) had cancer, found it at age 14 months, died at age 16 months old.
    I was so impressed with the childrens hospital with the teaching of injections, taking care of the hickman, when they were teaching my brother and his wife how to put on gloves and keep them sterile, I just know this was a disaster getting ready to happen, but some how the educators did it.
    day of funeral, I was sitting at funeral home and looked up and say one of the social workers, then another and a nurse, then was shocked to see his oncologist there and they all went to the grave yard which is way out in the country.
    What really shocked me was that they all came and my brother and his wife are not rich people, they didn't even have any insurance or half way decent jobs when all this happened.
    just thinking of this now I want to break out in tears to think how much they cared to actually make the drive 1 hr away from the hospital to show up.
  3. by   renerian
    I went to alot of my patients funerals when I worked hem/onc. I had to in order to let go. The families liked us being there. It was very very taxing on me. I cried right with them.

  4. by   LaVorneRN
    I have never attended a funeral but when I was an aide and my first onc. pt. passed (about 7 yrs. go) after being with us for months, it blew me away. He had lung Ca and I watched him gasp for air till the end. He was so sweet(about 70) and always called his wife "his bride." I wrote a letter to his wife and children about my memories of him and how funny he was and never complained. Also I lost an uncle recently to cancer (he was like my dad) and I could imagine their pain of losing such an awesome man. Later she came to visit and left a gift for me and a note stating she read my letter at the funeral. Since then I have prayed with patients and families, comforted them, listened to them and my attitude toward death has changed. I want to be an oncology nurse and hopefully be a source of strength for those I care for.
  5. by   renerian
    Lavorne that is a very nice story..........makes it worth it doesn't it?

  6. by   LaVorneRN
    It certainly does. Since then I have lost too many loved ones to one form of cancer or another. I worked on a hem/onc. unit for 7 yrs. and those nurses and docs are a special breed. They are the ones who encouraged me to go to nursing school along with my husband. I look forward to getting started.