What Really Matters
My job affords me so much gratitude. I get paid as a nurse to give on a daily basis and what my patients give back to me is ten times more than I give. Its hard not to be humbled when you are seeing so many people suffer. I learn life lessons everyday. I learn that your family is the most important thing and your career choice, whatever it may be, seems so insignificant when you are on your death bed.
I have so many stories of people who regret. Regret not being closer to their kids. Regret not being closer to their parents, siblings, or having friends who care about them. My heart sinks for these stories, but also grows in the knowledge that I can offer love to these people who often don't feel love.
I write this blog with a heavy heart. I have a very special patient of mine who might complete this short life of hers tonight. I want to remain hopeful, but given my knowledge of her illness, I know this is probably her time to pass to the other rehelm. I have a strong faith in the after life, so I know she will be okay. But I can't help but feel sadness for her short life of only 27 years.
In my field, its important to not get too attached, but we too are human. I feel like this blog is more of a tribute to her life and to all of my patients who often die alone because for whatever reason, they have no family to support them. This special patient of mine, will be surrounded by nurses who love her and have cared for her for over two years. For that I am thankful and yet sit here on my couch, saddened that I couldn't be there for her.
If there was anything that I can truly teach the world is to be there for others. Be there for the sad child in the school yard. Be there for the elderly person who lost their home due to not being able to care for themselves. Be there for teenagers being shunned by their parents. Be there for the homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes. They all have a story of neglect and sadness that led them down this road.
Be there for the Vets who witnessed catastrophe. Be there for the refugees who are forced to leave their country, leaving all that they knew behind. Be there for the hurricane victims, and any other catastrophe that may show its face in this world. Be there for the lonely, the sad and the hopeless. Just be there for anyone, everyone, and leave no one out.
As a nurse I have seen it all. And according to the Dahlia Lama, true compassion comes from understanding suffering. I stand in the knowing that my life is magnificent, yet my heart is open and waiting to hold someone... anyone who suffers. We owe it to each other. We owe it to ourselves to give love and compassion freely. Just like the Grinch... your heart will grow "three sizes" that day. I guarantee it.