So, the other day I did my first transfer to the local inpatient hospice facility since my aunt and grandfather died. On the way over I chatted with the patient's family and explained the services there. I told of how it is very patient focused and how there are services available to both the patient and their loved ones. When we got there we settled the patient into the room and as we were leaving I ran into one of the volunteers whose daughter is an old high school friend and who attended my aunt and grandfather's wake and funerals, we chatted briefly and went on our ways.
Going there was hard and I won't deny that I did get a bit misty-eyed, but I'm happy to deliver patients there because even though their time is limited I know that they are going to a good place where they will hopefully be comfortable and where I know they will be supported and tended to in a very caring and compassionate manner.
In my aunt's final hours one of the nurses sat with her and my uncle because my aunt required frequent suctioning of the airway and eventually the nurse said to my uncle "Mark, it's getting very close to the end, I can keep doing this, but it will just prolong the inevitable." He asked how much longer it would be if she stopped and she explained it and they decided it was time, that it wasn't right to just keep her lingering any more. And so that nurse whose shift had already ended stayed with him and stayed until well after my aunt died. And she wept with him, she didn't know my Aunt Jackie beforehand, she didn't know who she was, she didn't know the live that she had lived, but she stayed and she wept.