I See What You MeanJuly 2, 2011
In the mid 80’s I was working day shift on a med-surg unit at the hospital. One morning in June I came in to find a new patient that had been admitted the evening before. She was in her 40’s and diagnosed with terminal cancer. She wasn’t expected to live 2 weeks. Three months later she was still with us and the staff had grown very close to her and her family. The morning of September 9 I entered her room and knew that was the day she would die. The atmosphere of the room changed the second you crossed the threshold, it felt oppressive. You could tell Death was in the room. It was as if Death was a physical presence. When her doctor made his rounds he asked me how she was doing and I just told him to let me know after he saw her. His only response after leaving the room was “I see what you mean”. Even though she had not changed physically in 3 months, at the end of the shift all the staff members made a point of going in to say goodby to her family. As far as I know not one staff member ever mentioned it to any other, it just happened. Just after the evening shift came on and made their visit to her room she passed. We later found out that it was on the one year anniversary of her sons death.