We talk about being human ‘beings’ but much of our lives are about ‘doing’. We even start of conversations with strangers by asking the what they ‘do’ directly after discussing the weather. Being with someone who is dying calls us to ‘be’. A while ago I was called during the night to ‘be’ with someone who was Palliative, in all probability would not live through the night. I arrived to a dimly light room, quiet music playing in the background and Personal Support Workers PSW’s providing for this lady’s needs. I pulled up a comfy chair as I knew it would be a long night. I greeted Beth (not her real name), reminded her of who I was, and told her that I would be keeping her company throughout the night so she would not be alone. She smiled at me and then closed her eyes. I sat with Beth for about 8 hours until the sun greeted the day, and her family arrived from out of town. During the night there were a couple times where Beth opened her tired eyes and smiled at me, times where I moistened her mouth with a toothette, a nurse would do a quick check on her, or where I got up to stretch my legs. For the most part I sat. My thoughts were that she would have a peaceful passing when it was time, that she would be able to have her family present if that was what she wanted, sometimes in prayer, most times just quietly sitting holding her frail hand in mine. What a gift to be able to be ‘present’ with someone during this time, to share the miracle of them passing form this world to the next. Rather like being a midwife for the dying. A real honour. As far as I know Beth is still on that journey, but I thank her for allowing me to be so intimately involved with her journey. God Speed Beth, and Thank You.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!