I guess I’m still healing myself

Something bigger than me happened at work the other day.

I was visiting the home of an elderly man who had fallen.  I was there to monitor a healing infection and tend to his wounds. He was a frail, gentle man who told me he was ready for his life to be over. Not suicidal…the guy is in his mid 90s and not feeling well at all. It’s just time. His doting wife is quite a bit younger and not ready for him to give up just yet. This happens all the time. It’s not easy to face this season of life, even though we all know it’s coming for each and every one of us.

So, I’m at his house for the second time this week. His infection has gotten worse. I tell them he will probably  need to go back to the hospital. He shakes his head. His wife tells me it will kill him to go back, that he just wants to stay home. So, I start the conversation of hospice. Never an easy conversation to have. I keep in mind my mother, who just traveled this journey with her husband, as I look into this woman’s eyes. As much as she’s not ready for him to go, she knows this is what he needs. She can see it’s time. I put my hand on her shoulder as we speak, hoping to channel some peace into her aching soul.

I assist the man to his bed. He’s sitting on the side so I can change his bandages. He asks me, “So I don’t have to go back to the hospital?”No”, I reply. “You can stay home from here on out and we will send in a team of nurses who specialize in keeping you comfortable. They will help take care of you so your wife doesn’t have to work so hard and you can stay home“. He smiles and lets out the biggest sigh of relief.  He says, “My pastor is coming today. I’m going to ask him to talk to God for me.” I’m on my knees as I speak to him, as I’m changing a bandage on his leg. It’s a draining wound, and some traveled down to his feet. I took a gauze sponge and wiped his feet clean. I look up at him and say, “I’m sure he’ll talk to God for you. But you can talk to God yourself. And I can, too. I’ll talk to God for you and ask him to ease your suffering… and hers”, as I gesture to his wife.  He smiled down at me, as I tended to his wounds. “You’re an angel. I can see the wings growing out of there” and he gestures to behind my shoulder. He’s looking at it like he can actually see them there. He’s adorable. I’m such a sucker for these 90 year olds. “You’re an angel, just like she is“, and he looks over at his wife, who is leaning against the wall, looking away in her grief. She would move mountains for this man. But, mountains weren’t meant to be moved, I guess. He puts his hands on my shoulders, then cups my face in them, leans down and softly presses his forehead on mine. Almost like he was blessing me. As I washed his feet. Can you see it now? Can you see how this is something bigger than me?

I finish my work and tuck him into bed. I arranged for hospice to take over, so I knew this would probably be our last interaction. His wife walked me to the door. I tried to give her some comforting words, but I don’t think there really is such a thing, not during a time like this. She thanked me for my compassion and I went on my way. As sad as that scenario is, I felt good about it. I felt I healed them. Not physically, of course. There is no physical healing left in the world for that man. But spiritually, I think I did a decent job. I wondered why it was so easy for me to heal other people’s souls, and so difficult to heal my own. I haven’t felt like I’ve been healing at all, lately.  I thought of him calling me an angel. It reminded me of my angels, the one’s I pray to, the one’s I meditate to, the one’s I think of when I’m feeling broken. One thought led to another, and I thought of all the internal struggles I’ve been enduring recently, and I realized they are easing. I’ve been putting in my work, my gardening.  I’ve noticed the difficulty in healing myself and realized I had been slacking off on my work. The work I do on my own soul to put the pieces back together. So, I put some work in, and soon realized I’m bouncing back from emotional heartache a lot quicker than I used to. Pieces are starting to be put together again. So, I guess I’m still healing myself, after all…

Two houses later, I happen upon a patient with a cute little dog. He said it was a miniature toy schnauzer. This dog was SO in to me! She was standing on her hind legs, reaching up to me, begging for affection. I spent a few minutes stroking her head, her eyes steadily gazing into mine. She reminded me of this therapy dog I used to know, Frank. I had an emotionally intimate relationship with Frank. I swear, I think I can feel love from dogs easier than I can feel love from people. So, I felt an instant connection to this dog. I ask the patient what her name is, as I continue gazing into her eyes, feeling peaceful. He smiles at me and replies, “Angel”.

 

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 12/17

 

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38 thoughts on “I guess I’m still healing myself”

            1. I’m catching up on some of your blog posts but I don’t see any comment sections. Maybe it’s just a bug in the system tonight. Anyway, I am softly crying right now reading your diary post to your dad. Crying for you and crying for me… Lots of similar themes. Especially about wondering why people won’t fight for you…
              ???

              1. I know you and I really can relate and we really have so many connections! I wrote 4 blogs I think in one night there was so much on my mind. When you get to the one for my mom you won’t cry anymore you’ll just be like OH SHIT BETHANY WENT CRAZY :). I’m so sorry we have been through so much and not had the support that we needed or deserved.
                Oh I just followed you again too. I unfollowed everone and went back and individually followed each person back to make sure I didn’t have any nasty people that I had let slip through.

            2. And I’m continuing to cry at the story of the blonde haired girl in the dark-haired girl, so I think I’m going to take a break from reading tonight. Lots of love to you?

              1. Oh no! Im so so sorry!!!!
                Thank you for reading and feeling.
                I had to remove disable comments from my blog because I had three people come out of the woodworks and tear me down. Said I was a perpetual victim and then they started talking about me as if i was not even there. Psychoanalzing me and agreeing with each other. It affected me GREATLY and I contemplated deleting my entire blog.
                Things are a bit rough. I have full responsibility of my daughter and my health is really not doing well. My husband got a new job and is off in training and well that leaves a million things going through my mind that I cannot cope with. I am not going to therapy becasue there is no ride to therapy. I tried new meds but they didnt work. Im in a hole. So I wrote out how I felt and then i got ripped apart on my blog. So i deleted the post and disabled comments. So that is THAT story!!!

                1. Oh no! That sounds like a hole, for sure. I know you know that “this too shall pass”, but it sure does suck while you’re waiting. I wish there was something I could do to help you…

                2. And seriously, why do people even bother following you if they are going to be assholes? They must have nothing better to do with their time and are masking their own insecurities by picking on you. Fuck them.

                  1. Yeah, normally I would be like eh fuck off and I did say fuck off and a LOT of other people said fuck off infact one of the commenters said she was a therapist and she actually IS and so one of my followers is actually filing a complaint against her formally for what she said to me. One of the things that got me was she said that if I knew a mom whose child had cancer then I would someting or other. She compared what she deemed a strong mom of a child fighting cancer to me being weak and taking care of my daughter. As if a mom whose kid has cancer never has a weak moment. She was such an asshole. Normally i would not let it bother me but everything right now is bothering me. In a hole!

                    1. Those damn holes! I hate them….but they’re everywhere. You actually do a pretty damn good job when you fall in them, because you’re still able to find gratitude in birds and butterflies, and that’s not an easy thing to do from the bottom of a hole

                  1. She wouldn’t. And i almost feel like that therapy had taken its course. I did it for a year and it was extremely intensive without much of a nurturing aspect. I feel like it left me very raw. So my psychiatrist wants me to see someone all new start all over again but my husband is gone for 3 months. So i am a little fucked really

                    1. Reiki gave me seizures. Can you believe that! I am a reiki master and I had to stop doing it because it was giving me seizures. And that is HARD to turn off once you know how to do it and connect. Acupuncture gave me fevers awful but I am considering looking for another acupuncturist with a different technique maybe. Im just fried. That’s all. I did not expect to be full time taking care of the needs of a 20 year old with a deteriorating body myself. I’ve lost almost 30 lbs. things are just not good. Not that i am complaining about taking care of my own child i am just saying my body is not taking it and then poof my husband leaves and here I am.

                    2. Unique! I like that better than the alternative! I became a reiki master 18 years ago when I was also going through the chaplain program. I really wanted to help those people in the nursing homes whatever way i could..just like you do

  1. Jami this post is so tender and beautiful it made me cry. You are an angel…what a precious gift you gave that man. Dogs sense good souls and you are one…never forget that…we all have broken.places but I do believe our soul and spirit is always whole. And you are too. Love Deborah ?

    1. Thank you? It’s funny, I just today wrote to someone about my soul being in pieces. I can’t wait until it feels whole…I hope I am even able to recognize the feeling…

  2. Woohoo! I got goosebumps. Or as some people say, God bumps. I think it’s easier to feel love from dogs than people because dogs are mirrors reflecting the unconditional love of God (and angels.) GOD – DOG. And you are surely healing. So happy for you!

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