All through the process of caring for and tending to my mother, I have been aware that one of her friends is living on life support. This saddened Mom and me, too. Mother often said, don’t let that happen to me. She has no quality in her life. She needs to go home because she cannot get well. While we agreed, their family did not.
So even at 96, Mom insisted on going with me to I.C.U. to talk with her friend and give support to the adult children in the waiting room. What an inspiration it was to hear what Mom had to say to this dear woman who could not respond verbally to her.
They held hands and Ma talked of healing and seeing her in her garden in the spring. She told her friend that God is Good and she should listen to her family and take the advice to rest and heal. There were smiles. No tears. Mom told her what a joy it was to be her friend and she was looking forward to doing things together again when she was healed and back at home. (Even though my Mother knew her friend would never be totally well again.)
Now, as my Mother views the families from her place of eternal rest and peace, I feel the anguish of the lingering life of her friend who cannot speak or move. Often people wonder if she is aware of her surroundings. I believe she knows more than we give her credit for.
Today, she got word that one of her daughters, who has been battling lung cancer, is now in a coma at her sister’s house with hospice care. And she cried. Real tears. Real emotion.
And we sometimes wonder what is heard when we are present, and how long she will be capable of hearing, or if we even will know.
NOW we are all assured that she IS present and she DOES hear. I pray that her friends and family shower her with love and care and embrace her with the compassion she needs at this time of loss of HER dear beloved daughter. Remember to hug her. Remember to tell her you love her. Remember to give her permission to go to her eternal home with your blessings. Soon she will be there with her daughter and her husband, long ago deceased.
Treat your patients with the care you wish you would receive in your time of need. Encourage the family to be as fully present as they can for each other. Express your feelings and if they have no words, hold hands, rub feet, embrace.
And know that God is with you all.