Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Death, From A Nurse

In movies, it is usually the doctor who has to go tell the patient's family when a person dies.  In reality, (with the exception, perhaps, of the ER or OR) it is almost always the nurse.  A patient died in our unit this week, and I did not envy the nurse who had to go tell the family.  It is a difficult task, and yet nearly as difficult is the experience all the nurses on the unit share, of watching family members arrive and react to the death.  Even when a nurse did not know the person who died at all and is not emotionally invested, it is so hard to see people enter and weep.  Everyone handles death differently; some people cry but hold it together and can deal with the issues of funeral homes and paperwork, some people leave after only moments in the room because they can't handle more, and still others react excessively in grief or anger.  It is not uncommon here to see what the nurses sardonically call the "Delta fit", when a family member reacts very strongly: they are loud, lashing out or thrashing on the floor, and we have to call security.  I cannot help but think about death and reactions to it as directly related to how one sees death.  Personally, I do not strongly fear death or desire to avoid it at all costs, because death for me is the beginning of eternity in heaven, a wonderful, beautiful experience.  I theorize that the people who react so strongly to death fear it and want to fight it with every fiber of their being, most probably believing it is the final end.  To them, death is the worst possible thing.  To me, it is the gate to a better life with my beloved Savior and Lord.  So then, how could I possibly hate it?  I must welcome it, whatever God's timing for it may be.

No comments:

Post a Comment