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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Death

I've seen death before, many times in fact.  Young and old alike, death comes to all.  There was the 18 year old shooting victim(we coded even though he was brain dead), little old ladies whose bodies are riddled with cancer yet their families want us to do CPR on them and when we do it breaks every rib that they have and more recently an 83 year old man.  Some have family and friends around them; some die all alone.  I hold their hands, those that have no one else, sing religious songs from long ago, all the old favorites, On a Hill Far Away, In the Garden, Amazing Grace, even Jesus Loves Me.  My father died at only 53 years of age.  My step mom, my brother, half the church members of his congregation and me surrounding him, reading Psalms 23, choking when someone said, "yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."  Dying and death really don't bother me all that much.  I can empathize with the family members, they seem to appreciate my feeble attempts to console them. Of course it's always sad and it makes me cry, but a hug and a box of tissues goes a long way. Then there was yesterday:  I was making my normal rounds.  It was time to chart how much people had drank and how much they had eliminated during the eight hour shift.  I's and O's we call it.  I walked into this gentleman's room to empty his Foley.  He was standing up talking with me about wanting the catheter out so he could go home, he was feeling much better.  I suggested that he sit down so that I could change his sheets and empty the catheter.  It was one o'clock.  As he sat down he began to have a very short seizure.  I called for help and three of us got him back to bed, where he promptly passed out again. By 1:56 the doctor pronounced him dead. Medically we did EVERYTHING that could possibly have been done for him, that's not what bothers me.  His family did not make it in time to tell him goodbye or that they loved him, that bothers me.  The shock of such a relativley young man who was suddenly gone, he seemed to have been in relatively good health, he looked strong, but what bothers me the most is not knowing if this man had a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Was he saved?  In one single hour he went from looking healthy, strong and ready to go home to the doctor saying those fateful words, "time of death, 1:56pm".  How much time do we have to get our lives right with God?  What is holding us back?