The great part of my job, are the people that I get to meet every day. Some of my Client’s I’ve had just for a few short days, others I have had for years. You get to watch their ups and downs, happy and sad days, their joys and their overwhelming grief.
Today was a grief day. My first visit was with a husband who just lost his wife four days ago. He is sweet, loving and very hard of hearing. He lost her very suddenly and his tears spill over talking with me this morning. They were married over seventy years and he was her primary caregiver. Suzie, one of our nurses stated they were screaming “I love you!” when they finally were reunited last Wednesday. Today he talked about her and the sadness he felt. It is a long time to be with someone and he told me he isn’t interested in the holiday. I completely understood.
My next visit was with a woman that I am attached to. She is smarter than anyone I know, an avid reader of all things, super intelligent and respected by many. She states she is a non-practicing Jew and has taught me about the war in her country and has broken down for me what each side believes in, all the while being non-judgemental. We discuss books she is reading on tape, her eye sight poor and fading. I always feel that her reading vastly differs from my fluff reading but she never judges and I told her all about The Orphan Train when I was reading it. She also ordered it on tape. She taught in Israel, NYU and has many students still come and visit her. She keeps me on my visits ways too long and I like to just hear her speak.
Today, she is very weak and had a tough weekend. She is waiting for her father to come and get her and she tells me right away that there is an intruder in her house, with a gun. I tell her that I would not be here if there was someone bad in her home, but she doesn’t believe me. Her daughter arrives and we both calmly tell her that she is ok and safe. Even with her garbled speech, she tells us “I’m grateful for you both”. She also tells us, “I am a slave and need to be set free”. For some reason, that makes the daughter cry. I’m not sure if she will make it to this holiday and it’s always hard to say goodbye. She is in very good hands with her family and our staff.
The last visit was with a woman who’s apartment is 104 degrees. Ok, maybe 100 degrees. I honestly tell her is it too hot in here but she has had some side-effects of her cancer making her cold. She has told me for the tenth time that God is not coming for her and that she is ready to go. Like now. She could care less about this holiday and wants us to stop fussing over her. She is tiny, forgetful and a powerhouse of the family. I tell her that I understand and her daughter just nods her head.
I was talking with my friend Leanne and we both agreed the holidays are hard for people and I could feel everyone’s grief today. I think of my own grief of not taking Mom out for Thanksgiving. He own statements of wanting to die. I miss her own pumpkin pies, her buns and listening to her open the oven door and making the gravy. Her memories are gone of our family filled holidays.
All three of them stay with me today and I understand their feelings 100%. I’m wishing them peace tonight and to all of you that are also not interested in the holiday coming up, I get it. It’s hard for me too.