Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A harbinger of times to come

This blog started out with a long list of things I wanted to write about, thoughts I wanted to share.

I discovered not too long after I started that the most interesting things to write about, and to read, are the more personal ones, and that the more personal things are often too much to share. A dilemma.

That said...

I meet a lot of people in this tiny town. Often, when they are having a difficult time of some kind. Sometimes, I RE-meet them on those stressful days. People I've known for years, but not well, suddenly thrown in together as they face a difficult event, and I do my best to help ameliorate it.

Sometimes it's great. We reconnect, and I walk away feeling like I was able to be some help to them.

But sometimes, it's a harbinger of times to come, when things will not end well.

A while back we had a call for an older man who had fallen. He wasn't hurt. Just needed a hand up.
This was a patient I had seen before. The last time, at his house when his wife was ill.

I had not heard at the time, but she passed away shortly after that.

So this time, at his house, she was not there.
It was heart wrenching to see how much he has changed in so short a time. His caregiver said simply "He is dying of a broken heart."

It will likely not be long before we are no longer called to that address.

That is the reality of this job.
We do the best we can to help, and then comes a time when we can do no more.

When I was younger, I had very little contact, very little realization of death. My grandparents died when I was fairly young, but I did not know them well, so it didn't have much effect on me. I knew one or two people in my first three decades who died in accidents. I was, I guess, fortunate in this.

Now, I am closer to Death. My own, as I grow older, and other people's as my calling brings me to their doors. It is nearly every day that I recognize a name in the obituaries. A patient. The mother of a friend. Someone I went to high school with. The woman down the road.

It is an interesting thing, this specter called "Death."
Everyone's final act, if rarely their goal.


Gia's Spot said...

This is off post, but thank you for your words on my blog today... each knot on the string helps pull me up to a better place! Hope life is good!

Michael Morse said...

I kind of like the thought of a finish line, keeps things urgent. Of course, the finish line is way down the road, maybe I'll change my mind when I can see the checkered flag;)

Spartacus Jones said...

Good post.
Good thing to be aware of.
Anytime, anyplace.
You never know where that "finis line" is.