Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Climbing out of a cave.....
The woman was a beautiful Catholic woman who passed away yesterday morning. She had the most loving family who chose to sit by her side every day, from early in the morning until about 9:00 in the evening, as she worked her way forward.
It required that I, the 24 hour caregiver, be "on" constantly. Always needing to find a kind answer, words of comfort, or quick information, on the tip of my tongue. An explanation for why something was happening....anywhere from her cheeks pinking up to changes in her breathing. Lots of opinions were generously shared all.day.long.....she is bothered by the noise of the O2 machine, no no I think the white noise of the O2 machine is a comfort to her, the pillows are making her uncomfortable, well she does like one under knees, she likes to lay flat on her back, she's dying... are pressure sores really a concern, do we really need to change her position every 3 hours, are you sure we shouldn't be giving her water (she was in a coma) .....to gossip about about how quickly the dying woman's money got moved into another relatives own bank account the day she came to town, who uses medicinal cannabis and why (anxiety,) one shared her many "parodies" that she performs, her poetry, her writings.....endlessly. There was some jockeying for position and then watching in the last moments, all, dropping their swords and come together to love their mom, their aunt, their sister-in-law into the next world.
That moment is why I do this job. I get to watch people change and rise to the occasion. I get to see forgiveness in action, I get to watch people process their lives and face their mortality....usually with great courage and humor and some sadness. Not wanting to be done yet. Not wanting the ride to be over, wanting to know how the grand kids will turn out, worrying that they will miss those they have shared their lives with and then I get to watch them eventually come to that place of total peace that all will be fine. Their relationships are in order, loose ends are tied up, love has been voraciously shared and they can go now with no regrets. Its a beautiful thing I tell you.....a beautiful imperfect process that causes people to reach into themselves and tap into this inner strength that they may not have known they even possessed.
On the home front, my girl relapsed. Hopefully she will pick up where she left off in her recovery and begin again. She tells me she is trying to, working with her sponsor, being honest with those she meets with. Meanwhile, I am praying.
Much love to all.....