I wish I could honour him by name, but of course I can’t.
I don’t work many shifts in the section he was in, but I tended to him a couple of times, and he was a nice fellow. He was grateful for the care, and didn’t ask for much…. For all his pain, he had his sense of humour, I liked him.
He came to us to die, he had lots going on, and was palliative. He was only with us for a couple of weeks at best.
At handover this morning, the RN’s told us (carers) that he was on a morphine driver, nil by mouth. Speaking to the carer coming off night shift I realised he was very close to the end…
Our facility is in lockdown, strictly no visitors allowed.
We checked in on him at the start of shift, there was nothing to be done except make sure the driver was working….
We had lots of work in front of us, getting through breakfast and personal care took us right up to my lunch break.
Three cigarettes and a coffee later I walked back in and checked in on him.
No pulse. Still warm, he had just passed.
Alone. In a place that was never his home.
I did some checks to be sure, went and informed the RN.
I joined my workmates in serving lunch, and told them the resident had passed.
One of them asked me if I had ever been present at that moment, when someone died.
“Yeah, my Dad a couple of years ago” I said. And that was exactly where my head was.
And that nice old man who was in room 117 was probably someone’s Dad too….
Rest in peace old mate.
Don’t put off spending time with those you love.