Tall Man Dressed In White

November 12, 2011


I’m actually a student at the moment, but this is the story of my reason to go into nursing for hospice.

My MIL had been good friends with this woman, Georgia, all of her life. Her own mother was Georgia’s best friend in childhood, which made Georgia something of a second mother-figure to my MIL. Georgia had no children of her own because of a tumor in her youth, so she had basically adopted my MIL and my MIL’s brothers and sisters as her own and spoiled them rotten. She had even gone as far as leaving her house to our family in her will and making my MIL her primary in the last 10 years of her life (she lived to be 96).

Georgia was sharp as a tack up until her death and never lost any of her mental abilities. One of her hardest struggles though, because of this, was dealing with the loss of her body functions and the loss of dignity she felt, having us assume more and more responsibility for her ADLs. She decided to die at home and we all took shifts being with her and doing her care in the final 6 months.

In her last month, she began seeing a very tall man dressed in white in her bedroom. If we were staying with her at night, she’d suddenly give a shout and we’d wake up and come in. She’d be shouting “You get out of here! Stop bothering me! I can’t do it!” and there would never be anyone there. She’d be upset and would always want to know why we let this tall stranger into her room in the middle of the night, completely irritated with us. We always slept in her living room, which one would have to walk through to get to her room, and never saw this man. He would come to her and tell her to get up and walk to him, but she had lost function of her legs and would yell at him that she couldn’t do it, that she wasn’t strong enough.

He came to visit her 4-5 times before her death.

The day she died, one of my friends was there for the few hours I was out running errands for my family. My friend was snoozing on the couch because Georgia had been in a coma for three days and was in the quiet, last stage. My friend said that suddenly, she had been jerked awake like someone was warning her, shaking her by the shoulder. She ran into the room to find Georgia taking her last, very quiet breaths. She sang a soft song and Georgia passed on. She was upset later by the experience, not because the death was scary, but because she could not explain who had woken her up to witness Georgia’s death.

Georgia had left her house to my family in her will and we moved in for a while after we repainted and renovated it to put it on the market. The most work we did was in the bathroom, putting in all new fixtures. Well, Georgia didn’t seem to like to changes because even though we are confident that we put in good work in there, every single new screw has been undone over time and each fixture has fallen apart. Just the other day, the new cupboard door came off in my hand. I had to laugh because it was just so obviously unnatural. At first I thought it was my kids doing it one fixture at a time, but the cupboard had to be unscrewed from the inside and we have childlocks on those so my kids can’t get to the chemicals and medicines. I keep apologizing out loud to Georgia for changing her bathroom, but her old fixtures were just not going to be appealing to new homeowners.

– Posted by littlesleeper; Allnurses

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