I have to tell it!
I don’t pretend to know about religion, or God, or death. I often doubt many religious beliefs and feel like some take the whole thing too far. But every once and awhile something gets me and this is one of those times. I am a reasonable person, often skeptical of the so called miracles in life.
Ms. Jane is one of the most loving individuals I have ever come into contact with. Life and love radiate from her even in her frail state lying in a hospital bed. If there are Angels on earth then Ms. Jane is their close friend. Ms. Jane has come close to death many times. The family was called in, and she lived on for years. Never once complaining about her condition and joking that tomorrow she would be walking out of that bed. Multiple strokes of course would make that an impossible feat.
Wednesday, Ms. Jane, was speaking loudly to someone in her room. Not just speaking, but taking part in a great conversation. Interested I stopped to see who Ms. Jane was talking and laughing heartily with. “Just my mother” she said. The confusion on my face must have showed, because she then said “and Frances”, as if that would clear it up for me. This obviously increased my confused facial expression, because she offered me an explanation. She said, “Come here, I want to tell you something. I am not going to be here much longer but I am ok.” She then asked me to call a family member, so she could see them. I did, since she asked me to. He arrived and spoke to her, and then stopped to speak to me. He relayed that the family and Ms. Jane want her kept comfortable, “just in case”.
Ms. Jane continued for the rest of the week to speak to “people” in her room. In the early hours of the morning Ms. Jane’s oxygen leveled dropped and her respirations increased. The family was once again called in. By the time I arrived to work at 2:30 Ms. Jane was herself again, her oxygen level was 99 to 100%. A family member told me Ms. Jane was asking for me so I went, as I entered the room she was smiling and said come here. I did. Get closer, she said. I did, No closer and bend down here. She kissed me on the cheek and said “You have always been good to me. You never was anything else. You mean so much and I love you. I won’t be here much longer just so you know. But I am ok, I have already talked to God, and my mother.” I left the room with tears in my eyes. She then spent the next hour or so requesting various staff members to come see her. They all left with similar stories like mine. After supper she fell asleep. Her family left quietly and told me to let her know they would be back tomorrow; they didn’t want to wake her. Later when she awoke I told her they had left and would be back, she said, “Well that is nice, but they really don’t have to, I won’t be here”. She smiled, and then added “but that is ok.” She denied the need to see a priest; she continued to say that she has already talked with God. I guess once you “talk to God” a priest seems a little less necessary.
Ms. Jane left this life the next day. When I heard I cried, not tears of sadness, but joy. I have heard others say that before and I always thought, yeah right. But for the first time in my life I not only mean it, but felt it. If death is even half of the happiness Ms. Jane brought into the world, then it truly will be a place we should want to be.