A chronic patient who I had a very special bond with came in extremely sick.... admitted straight to the ICU. I would go down and chat with him when I could on my breaks. As the days went on, he began to deteriorate. He was an older teenager, and I believe he had come to grips with his death long before any of us. One night I went down to visit with him, and I took one look at him and I just knew. His mother was still upbeat, in denial somewhat, but I knew. And he knew. And as she chattered on about this and that and what he was going to do for the rest of the summer, etc.... I kept my eyes locked on his. He motioned for me to come closer to him (he was unable to really vocalize at this point), so of course I did. He reached out with one arm, and grabbed me around the neck and pulled me close. He put his forehead on mine. He squeezed. Then he let go.
I cried all the way back to my floor, and all the way home the next morning.
I knew he had said goodbye to me.
He died later that day.
I will never ever forget just looking at him in the eyes, and having that unspoken conversation.
Miss that kid. He was awesome.