Kindness Part II
She died on my shift. It was exactly thirty days when we admitted her. She went away peacefully and swiftly. She went away when I was holding her hand. Her daughters were away at that time, and I knew someone had to be there and hold her.
I was calm while I watched the ECG line go flat. But when I went out of her room, that’s when it hit me that I was affected with my patient’s death. I cared for her in that thirty days she was with us. I got to know her story. I got to know her family. She grew on me. So it broke my heart and I couldn’t help it when I just felt so sad and relieved at the same time, that her fight’s now over. That now, she will be in peace.
A couple of days after, her daughters arrived in the ICU. Upon seeing us, they started hugging us one by one. And they brought some gifts for us nurses who cared for their mother. We tried refusing as it is against policy to accept gifts, but those women were pretty persuasive with their kindness. (They took that from their mom.) It was to them a small gift to repay us for all those times we stayed with their Mom and held vigil with them during the difficult times.
I was so happy at that moment. Not because of the material gifts. But because it made me feel that we did something right. Yes, we lost a patient, but we did gain her family’s love and trust. We did something right, after all. And I know this might sound cheesy, but I know that those gifts came from heaven. It came from her. Because God has finally decided to give her a pair of wings, and blessed us with those gifts.
To you who left us that night, you’re kindness is the legacy that you leave behind. And it will never be forgotten. We will never forget your story. Thank you for sharing the journey.