Death This I Believe
I believe that death is a sacred experience. I have been a nurse for almost twenty years. In those years, I have been blessed to attend more deaths than I can count. I never fail to be amazed at how a person is with us one minute, and gone the next. There is no rumble or roar just always a peaceful surrender.
I remember the first time I attended a death of a patient who was a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. I felt a feeling of smallness as I watched this woman peacefully pass to the next life. I watched as she lay quietly in the bed, the time between respirations becoming longer and longer. Then eventually, the respirations stopped, and she was gone. I remember this event so vividly, because she would have been alone if I had not been there to hold her hand. Often families do not desire to be present when their love ones pass away, and that is not wrong. I have believed, long before I became a hospice nurse, that a patient should not die alone.
When I think of death I often compare it to a woman who is pregnant. To the baby the womb and darkness is life. However, we has human know that is not true. We as humans know that the baby must die to the life it knows, to be born into what we know as living. How much greater a promise do we have that the life we live is not really living, but what lays beyond this life is so much greater. For us to be born into that life, we must die to the life we know, to be born into what is ultimately living.
When my father passed away last year I was blessed to be able to attend his death. It was a life altering moment for me, as I reflected on my life, and my beliefs. I thought about all those years ago when my father was present at my birth, and now I was able to be present at the birth of his next life. This was for me a truly sacred moment, that I felt compelled to witness. This I believe.