Yesterday I sat by the bed of my dementia patient who was actively dying. He was the one I shared a lucid moment of watching the clouds only a few short weeks ago. His breathe was unnaturally even like a machine in a holding pattern. I called his wife and told her I thought it was only a matter of hours. She had had a bad night, cancer treatment left her sleeping on the bathroom floor and now the love of her life was flying off to the next world. I put her on speaker phone and she talked to him, telling him she loved him. She wasn’t sure if she could make it in, she would let me know. I told her that I would sit with him until our Chaplin came and he would not be alone. In the bustle of a long-term care facility it is difficult for the staff to sit and hold hands, although his nurse was ever attentive with his comfort medications.
As I sat there, I played his favorite music, spoke to him with gentle encouraging words, sent him reiki energy, everything I could think of to make his passing a little easier. It is harder for dementia patients to pass, there is a spiritual disconnect, their minds are confused, and so I prayed he would find a lucid moment in his passing. When the Chaplin came to relieve me, I said my goodbye. I had to continue on with my day as my other patients also needed my care.
A few hours later I was driving down the main road and I saw a man on a bike, peddling against traffic. He had shaggy hair and a moustache, resembling my dying patient. I wasn’t quite sure it he was real or just a vision as my phone rang. It was the Chaplin; my patient had just passed -five minutes after his wife got to his bedside. He had waited for her, he had needed her and she him.
Love, between the hearts and the worlds, love is our final destination.