I knew that it would happen one day but didn't think it would be today. My volunteer work places me in homes of dying people. I volunteer through a hospice company. I've use the same company when my wife was sick with breast cancer. Today I had 3 different visits to make. The first one was a first time visit at a home so they could get to know me. She was glad that she had someone now she could call on when she needed to get out for a while or for those times that caregiving becomes just overwhelming.
The second visit was a visit that let the wife get out and pay some bills and such. The man I watched while she was gone was one of my first patients. I got to know him very well over the months and his wife too. She calls me her son! She told me that she would rather not be there when he dies. She left and I looked him over and counted his breathing. Healthy breathing is 10 or 12 a minutes and he was doing that. With in 10 minutes I noticed that his breathing was slowing down and I called the nurse. She was 15 miles away so I knew she would never make it in time because his breathing was slowing down quickly.
I watched him take his last breath. I said a prayer thanking God for letting me know this man and his wife. I prayed that he would give his wife comfort and strength and then waited for the nurse and his wife to come. When I saw the wife drive up I went outside to meet her before she came in. She got out of the car and asked, "Are you leaving?" And I said, "No, but he is." I held her tight and then walked her into the home watching her ever step. I never let go until I knew she was going to be OK.
I let the nurse know the time of death and went back to the wife and held her again. After letting her know that she would continue to be in my prayers I kissed her on the cheek and left. I don't eat junk food but today I treated myself to a DQ chocolate shake on my way to my last visit. I think I deserved it. My last visit was with a lady who has all but stopped eating but not when I am around. Most of her family was in and I could see their pleasure when I got granny to drink a whole glass of a concoction her husband had come up with.
I am glad that God has blessed me with a ministry here in the States that I can be a blessing to others. I think that I may have a gift at helping the dying and the living. Thank You Lord!
In case there are typos in this blog I wrote it with tears. Pay them no mind.
[quote] I am glad that God has blessed me with a ministry here in the States that I can be a blessing to others. I think that I may have a gift at helping the dying and the living. Thank You Lord![/quote]
While the Holy Spirit can certainly help us minister to those experiencing things we may not have personally experienced, you and I both know there is something special about being ministered to by someone that we KNOW has walked a similar path to the one we are on at the moment.
When we take our pain, suffering and grief, place it in God's hands and use those experiences to minister to others experiencing pain, suffering and grief, I believe it is like snatching the "arrow" or "sword" out of the enemy's hand and wielding it against him!
My grandfather died in the hospital but I remember that a nurse stayed with him in the very end and I can't tell you how comforting that was to know he wasn't ALONE. I would imagine it would be very difficult but so very rewarding to know you made a difference to those who cross your path who are going through this hard time...not only the one who is in the process of dieing...but their families and loved ones too. Keep sharing your stories...and bless you!
Difficult as it is, I know you are doing what the Lord has called you to do. There are rewards in the here and now, but nothing compared with the rewards to come...
blessings, dear friend, blest