Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Providing end of life care is an honor and a heart-wrenching experience all at the same time. We experienced a death in our Adult Family Home recently that was both. I had the honor of providing end of life care to a God-fearing woman ready for the arms of Jesus. It was also the most heart-wrenching experience I've had thus far in this business (I, however, won't go into details as to why). It's going to take me awhile to move on.
We met her just once and I absolutely adored her. She had a sweet, tender heart and had lost three babies, one a few days after birth, one a still born, and the other a miscarriage. She seemed at peace. We talked and had a lot in common. I was excited to have her around. Her husband was on hospice and we were going to provide end of life care for him and emotional support for her as she was losing her spouse.
I would like to say they moved in like normal, but they didn't. It was stressful right from the beginning. Drama doesn't even begin to describe their situation. Boy would I love to type it all out on this page and get it out of my system, but unfortunately I can't. As we attempted to get them settled and care for the hubby, the wife became weak. We started brainstorming what it could be but she was worsening faster than we could come up with ideas. We tried a few things to no avail. Maybe it was just depression? I ran out and bought her a parakeet since she had requested one before moving in. It cheered her up and I was so happy to see that smile on her face, but as we were tucking her into bed and attempting to get some food down her, she threw up what little applesauce Josh had fed her. We both knew at that moment, she was dying. I was so unsettled by the feeling that this wasn't her time. I was still hoping we were wrong and that she just had the flu, but a few days later she was embraced by the arms of Jesus.
It threw us for a loop. I'm still confused. All the while, we had been providing round the clock care and have been exhausted, which I know adds to the stress, sadness, and confusion. She had been dying for awhile, but by the time it was figured out, she didn't have much time left. It's left everyone shocked. It's going to take me a long time to get over her suffering. I find comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain and gets to be united with her loved ones and the babies she lost. That's something I look forward to as well.