Yesterday my day was Divinely orchestrated by the Angels…
Yesterday my scheduled visits for hospice got rearranged with an emergency that took up two hours of my morning. I arrived to my last visit hours later. The patient was “actively dying”, unresponsive but not in distress. He was doing the work that needs to be done to pass from this life to the next, truly a labor of love. His wife had passed before him many years earlier so he had a live-in caregiver-“Bobbi”. He was concerned about the patient’s well being and so we spoke at length of the small things that could be done to ensure comfort. A cool compress on the forehead, the ceiling fan needed to be turned on, the patient need to be turned and repositioned every so often, gentle mouth care. All these seemingly insignificant things became the last offerings of compassion and love from caregiver to patient.
Suddenly his breathing changed, and his transition was clearly coming. Bobbi held his hand and I whispered words of encouragement. The air was still as was his breathe. We called the family who lived far away and offered condolences and virtual hugs through the phone line. Then I called the funeral home to come. One lone man appeared within a half of an hour. He refused help and transferred the patient into his care. We watched as he wheeled the red covered gurney out the door, a life well lived passing through.
As we returned to the bed to strip the linens there on the pillow was a single silk red rose. It was a sweet gesture of acknowledgement from the funeral home. It was the first time in my 14 years of being a hospice nurse that I had seen a funeral home do this. However it was clearly more- Bobbi became excited “Oh he loved roses- because his wife was named Rose!”
No longer separated by their worlds their love story continues in the realms of the heavens….