My Photo
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a follower of Christ!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Someone died today at work. Its really amazing how after being a nurse for only 3.5 years that I could become so cold to the concept of a loved-one dying. Of course these people are not my loved-ones but they are someones. I experience death about twice a week working in the CT-ICU. People who are further along in age than I am die of heart disease and other gerontologically induced diseases and it just gets to be part of the job. They pass, I comfort the best I know how, we pull out lines and tubes, tie their hands feet and jaw, put them in a big white bag (after the family has left of course) and send there family home with a "grief packet" and a box of tissues. Of course we are as accomidating as possible and we allow them as much time as they need with there family member but something seems so sterile and void about the whole process. There are legal, political and policy issues involved so we have to follow proceedure but through all the documentation, the organ donation and legal mumbo-jumbo the heart and soul of the deceased gets lost. I often wonder if the passed knew my Lord, Jesus or if the family does. Therapeutic communication warrants my refraining from teling them about Him and sticking to the post-mortem protocol. That protocol being: ask if they want to see a chaplain, if they don't drop the subject and give emotional support. I guess there is a time and a place for everything and I know that if the Lord would have me talk with them about Him, he would open the door to that oppurtunity. Anyway, I have never experienced death of a close loved-one. I count my blessings, that is for sure, but I can not really relate. I have a friend who used to be a chaplain and he had so much pain in his own life that he empathized with every family he worked with. He got so drained and his life view changed to seeing the world as a world in pain. He never saw the joy in things and he suffered in his own past of pain because of it. I could never do that I would surely have a mental breakdown. I guess there is something to be said for cold sterile proceedure. It protects the heart.


Blogger Mark said...

Being Ready to Die by Henry Nouwen
"Death often happens suddenly. A car accident, a plane crash, a fatal fight, a war, a flood, and so on. When we feel healthy and full of energy, we do not think much about our own death. Still, death might come very unexpectedly.
How can we be prepared to die? By not having any unfinished relational business. The question is, have I forgiven those I have hurt? When I feel at peace with all the people who are in my life, my death might cause great grief, but it will not cause guilt or anger.
When we are ready to die at any moment, we are also ready to live at any moment."

8:12 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Amen brother!

5:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home