Last week I went to see an old friend for the last time. She was a beautiful young spirit who was in her last hours of life. She was unresponsive; and she had what we call the “death rattle”, very wet sounding respirations. She was at the end of her battle with pancreatic cancer. The thing that really struck me though was her sweet family. She was surrounded by her husband, children, parents, sisters, brothers, in-laws, aunts and uncles, and nieces, at least that’s who I think I met. In a day and age when we in the United States keep death very sterile and at arms length, this family dug in, brought her home, sat her in her recliner in the living room and walked with her as she finished up her life here on the earth. They nursed her, talked to her, comforted her, told stories, and loved her. And when old friends called and wanted to come say goodbye, they welcomed them like one of their own and shared their final hours with their beloved, when it would have been so understandable if they had just asked to be left alone. Sweet people!
In my life as an ER nurse, I had the pleasure of delivering a baby, it was incredible to be there as that child was ushered into life. I have also had the honor of being present when hundreds of people have been ushered out of this life. They are both profound experiences, probably because it only happens once in a lifetime, and both of them change the life of everyone in their circle. Thanks N for allowing me to be a part of your life, it was profound. And I thank her family for allowing me to be a part of her death, it was profound…………..Your love for her is inspiring!