I saw my new hospice patient today. This is the second time that I have visited with her. Susan is a beautiful woman who is in her early sixties. She is dying from lung cancer. Last night she was moved from her home to a hospice house.
When I visited with her today, she was awake but not consciously awake. It was like she was in a daze. As she laid curled up in a fetal position, she spontaneously said, “I want to go.” Her daughter told me that she’s been saying that a lot lately. Sometimes when people are dying they use symbolic language. When she says, “I want to go,” she may be saying that she is ready to die. A wonderful book about communication of the dying is called, “Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying.” It is written by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley.
I sat and gently rubbed Susan’s forehead. She was resting with her eyes closed. My thoughts turned to life. Being present with those who are dying puts a lot perspective on living. We are two women; one who is in the living club and one who is in the dying club. Many people die each day. According to Wikipedia, roughly 150,000 people die each day across the globe. That’s a lot of people!
I am part of the living club. I feel so blessed to still be here on this earth! I just want to jump and shout, “I am living!” I have so much that I want to do and experience. I have a lot of gratitude in my heart.
Living in the present moment helps me realize: I am here now. What a gift!