Fear and Surrender.

Staring into the glazed-over unfocused dilated eyes of a jaundiced man with end-stage liver cirrhosis. Fear.

Witnessing him take his last breath and watching as his whatever it is was that resembled his unique life force of collective stories and emotion from his whole life through dissipate into an unknown. One last sigh. Surrender.

Collecting mementos from childhood, letters and handmade Easter cards, Playbills from Broadway plays, awards of distinction in the form of ribbons or certificates, old journals with ripped corners and folded pages to be passed on to another, some other. Tangible meaningful lifejunk. Lessons learned. Nightstand overflows. Dust bunnies. Fear.

Standing bare…aware of the harsh curves, scarred knee, discolorations above the left cheekbone, the handful of silvery hairs teasing the crown, the gaze that loves to gaze, the creative womb, smooth torso dancing, unseen whoosing hole in the atria, overworked endocrine, underworked whispers of artful endeavors, green eyes vision changing, seeing hands, worked hands, writing hands, playing hands, human earthship carrying circling, fluttering, bounding thoughts and emotions and ideas. Silly giggles. Surrender.

A news reel of three girls bound, scared and removed of all their youth, hope, young love, no kisses, no longer seeing cloudy sky or breathing air, a cat’s soft fur, wispy dancing blade of grass no more. Concealed. Fear.

A couple holding hands in rubble, smothered, breathe no more, facing toward one another in final moments, barricaded but embracing each other. Courage. Love. Surrender.

The news. Fear.

Friends’ laughter. Surrender.

Illness. Hope. Fear.

Heal. Surrender.




Fair. Surrender.

One Comment

  1. Larry Mayer says:

    May 12, 2013 at 4:39 am

    In my first RN role on a Med/Surg floor, my patient was dying. The family called me in to alert me to his need for something. I told them this is it, he is going to die now. Do you want to be here with him. “Yes.” Then come here, take his hand, stroke his head. I suctioned black goo. They held his hand, stroked his head. He gasped. A wife and mother with their teen daughter spent the last moments with their husband and father.

    Nurses tend to their patients. But we also tend to families. Death is so a natural part of our existence. We must tend to it as well.

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