Death of my friend, I was there.
Hi everyone I have a beautiful friend who is 58 years old and has been in a facility for the last 13 months in a persistent vegetative state. He has been a dear dear friend for over 40 years and he is a very well-known musician in our community and across the country. There are tens and thousands of people who are truly his friends he was he is an incredible human being I just need to explain his personality because he was small in stature but huge in presence...you've never met a human being like him.
I've been going to visit him throughout the months and I will say that he was minimally responsive to many different things but over the course of the month I saw that he was diminished and I believe everything happens for a reason so when a CNA accidentally dislodged his feeding tube about 10 days ago, they did not put it back in because it was Preposterous to continue to keep him in that state. I have been grieving his loss for 13 months and wishing him gone for all that time because he would be so pissed off you can't even imagine!!!!
I'm just a person I'm a mom I have two grown kids I have never worked in healthcare kind of creeps me out and even though I'm a truly loving and compassionate person when my grandmother died I couldn't even touch her body and she was the absolute love of my life.... so now Begins the story that I'm here to talk to you about...
After 10 days off of life support I felt a tremendous urgency to pack a bag and get myself out to his facility as quickly as I could I actually felt myself being pushed and I had to hold my emotions back from getting too overly anxious. Whatever was driving me I had to Pace it because it was much stronger than a human being can bear!!! I made it out to where he is and walked into his room where his roommate had his family of five visiting... where the patient across the hall screamed help at the top of his lungs every 15 seconds... where there were buzzers and nurses and CNAs and clicking and dripping and craziness everywhere I said no no no no!!!!! Never to be one that follows protocol I barged literally barged into the administrator's office at 3 p.m. and asked her to please move my friend to a private room for a few hours so he can die please it needs to be done now... it wasn't really me barging in anywhere I was being pushed to do it and I did it and I was glad. That staff and the two visitors pulled everything together and got us in that private room within eight minutes flat... honestly it was a miracle the room was huge you could have had 40 people in there literally!!! I was so thrilled but I knew we had work to do and my God you guys I've tell you it wasn't me what work was I going to do and how was I going to do it???? It's the strangest feeling... I just made that room as quiet and peaceful as I possibly could with a battery operated candle and then a woman walked in with a little boombox and she didn't speak English very well and asked me if he liked music oh my God you guys he's the best harmonica player you've ever heard and that is his occupation always has been... I told her yes of course we will definitely play some music and she asked me what kind... I told her he was a blues musician but I didn't really think she understood me... she came back and apologized for the CD she was giving me saying it was wrong but it was BB King and it was absolutely right.
With everyone gone it was just the two of us so I talked and talked and sang and caressed his face and wiped his brow with a cool cloth and kissed him and did things to this man that were so far beyond my capacity. From 6 p.m. till 2 a.m. I talked this man out of staying here any longer then two CNAs came in because I asked them to move him over in the bed... he was a skeleton with skin... I laid down next to him so I could count his death rattle breaths and I instantly fell asleep. The nurses were administering morphine every hour on the hour and I never heard a sound. At 4:55 a.m. on August 2nd I walk to the sound of my name being called by the nurse telling me he's gone...
This is only 48 hours ago so I want to know why did he died when I was asleep?? What actually happened in that bed when his Spirit left his body and how could I have just simply been there and feel or see or hear nothing absolutely dead nothing.!!!!! I'm here because I'm not sure how to feel even though I feel elated and relieved and so happy that I helped my friend cross over but keep in mind this has nothing to do with me however right now it kind of does--- because I'm still a vital human being who has these feelings of well I don't know what the feelings are!! I'm not sad I literally and truly have gone to the stages and have accepted that he is gone... but how could I have touched him and handle him and been with him so intimately and so self-assured when in fact I'm truly the most emotional puddle of Tears woman you have ever ever met... how did I handle everything so naturally? How should I feel now?