Sunday, February 15, 2009

Death

I recently was sitting in a resident's room while she was dying. I sat on her couch between her son and a friend. Strings of Compassion harpist played while she slowly fell into rhythm with the notes. Also in her room were two other residents and a caregiver. I sat there just feeling so much love and inner peace that I had a smile. Where did this come from? It happened about 8 years ago. I had been present with many folks who had died. Then there was a shift. I attended a Hospice Conference sponsored by Washington County. It was amazing and I realized halfway through the conference this was a calling. I felt so privileged taking care of a person who was dying, as if God placed them in my hands. Someone once pondered the question "what would you assume if you saw a woman in labor without seeing the end result?". "Death is a labor, a process and we never get to see the end result." As in labor in delivery, labor in death could also have a miraculous end.

1 comment:

Donna B said...

Oh Jennifer...how I can relate to what you said in this post. I took Hospice Training as an answer to life's longing, tugging on my soul. I too, felt it was a calling. I had been busy raising my daughters, working two jobs and never had the "free time".

Not until I married my wonderful husband, did I have the time to do it. Unfortunately, after my training, I was told they did not have any patients for me. I ended up working in the CPU. I had to travel over an hour to get there, and was giving office work to do.

I was assigned to sign visitors in and out and mailing out envelopes. Once, I asked one of the nurses if I could help feed her patient, and she allowed me to so. It was the first day I felt I was doing something worthwhile.

Most of the volunteers I spoke with, did not want to be one on one with the patients. They were content to mail out envelopes, work booths, and work indirectly for the patients.

I discussed my need "to be" present with the patient, but it did not happen. I eventually allowed my frustration to get the best of me, and I resigned.

I feel God knew if I were with a patient, I may not have been available for my Dad. I believe God knew my Dad would be needing me and wanted me to be ready.

I really enjoy the way you write and what you have to say. Looking forward to following you...