Reflections by Tom Hussey


I never knew how painful it was to watch someone pass until I became a nurse.
Those priceless few moments you get to spend with a stranger, listen to their stories over and over again and hold their hand when they get depressed over their health status. They say time is the one thing you can never take back, and when a stranger passes before your eyes, you realize how easily life can be taken away. You didn't have to be a warlock to prevent death. You just had to be there to witness life.

I remember this one old lady I took care of once. She was a funny one. She was always thankful each time a nurse entered and gave her her medication. Even though the nurse came to change her IV, which was quite painful, she was thankful still. She'd tell me stories each time I enter her room to take her vitals. Her daughter would roll her eyes because maybe she's heard those stories for the millionth time. She'd stay ecstatic talking about it anyway. She would signal her daughter to give the nurses extra fruits she receives from her children everyday. It was very thoughtful.

Time came when her doctor came with her lab results. It wasn't pretty. In fact, for the first time, I saw her usual smiling face turn into a melancholic smile, a smile that tried so hard to keep her sadness to herself. Of course, as a nurse I had to try my best to comfort her even though I really have no idea how to ease a person's suffering, let alone someone near their time. It's the end of my duty anyway so I sat there and listened to her.

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