There is nothing folded or any pockets left to hide anything. There are no possessions, no promise to keep, and no clever things to say. There are no lies to tell, no more pressure of failure or success. There is no need to pursue happiness and accolades. There are no more bills to pay or money to spend. There is nothing clever to be said.
This man and I are alone in his hospital room. We are humans here together. I am the last person he saw. I am the last one to hold this hand that is already losing its warmth. This hand that held his sweetheart, his children, and grandchildren. This hand that worked diligently at a job and perhaps lost touch on his journey.
In this moment I feel his joys and sorrows as one human to another. I have the privilege to hold for just a brief moment the connection of the mystery that we both have lived, and dreamed in both the laughing and the weeping.
I am the one who will gently wash away the smell of sickness. I will tenderly prepare this human body for final rest as if he were my loved one because the Truth is we are brother and sister in the family of “us.” All of us who are called humans. I will make sure he looks his best for his loved ones who are on their way here in mourning, and just for ” the blink of an eye” I will hold this other human’s unknown secrets, dreams, and love for the cherished treasures they are. I will be a better person having done so.
I whisper a prayer to The One who gives life and who defeated death and give thanks that two complete strangers can be so completely united for a single moment.
This is what being a Nurse means…