It has taken me some time, lets face it, a long time to come to terms with what I myself as an individual am going through, what I am facing daily as a nurse, and what my co-workers are also facing. With time, death doesn’t become easier, in fact it gets more difficult with each one. The other day I was working with a newer nurse and she said, “I kind of got teary eyed, I have never had patient die, and now yours, this is a first for me.” I responded with, “death should move you, the moment that death doesn’t move you is the moment you need to be concerned.” I shared with her that when I was teaching full-time I always told my students that nursing isn’t just about the “highs” there will be many “lows” as well; and I told them I wanted them to remember this: death is never easy, however death should be and can be one of the most beautiful events in an individuals life if orchestrated correctly. I explained to them that we are the hands and feet that make that happen; we hold the hand, we clean the body, we play music, we do whatever we can to make it peaceful. I said, “as joyous as birth is death should be as well.”
I have had to remind myself of this many times; sometimes it is during a good cry on the way to work, a cry in the shower, or just holding my patients hand and crying and telling them, “it is ok to let go.” With each patient that is in their final stage of passing, I try to find out from family what type of music they like and if I can’t, I try to play peaceful music, something that is calming for the brain and often times it is Amazing Grace. There is something about that song that when it is played, and I sing it to my patient that I feel peace; peace for not only my patient but myself as well.
Many of you may or may not know but I am currently back in the mid-west working in South Dakota! I took the month of December off to emotionally attempt to heal from New York and El Paso before jumping in again (not sure it worked), recovered from Covid-19 for the second time, and the best part of December and being back in the mid-west was seeing my wonderful kiddos again! I have two of the most amazing and intelligent children; always understanding why I am doing what I am doing and more importantly they say, “mommy, the sick people need you.” We (Hans and I, along with Sarah) are blessed as their parents to have such wonderful staff at St. Theodore’s teach them the value of caring for others and putting the needs of others first!
I finished my first semester of Nurse Practitioner school with a 4.0 and and am back at it again! Starting in April I will be doing an Orthopedic internship in Marshall, Minnesota and am very excited to start working with patients!
Many more updates to come, stories from the front line that were to difficult to share previously, and of course sharing about what is currently happening…trust me it isn’t any better now than it was in March! Do not let the news fool you! Please, wear your mask and wash your hands! Much love to each of you!