This is my need to ventilate... one loss has happened, one is yet to come. One I knew well and worked with on a daily basis, the other, while a stranger to me isn't, because a dear friend said goodbye to her yet she won't die until Tuesday. One didn't choose his day to die, one did.
I learned today of the passing of a wonderful man, an Anesthesiologist I worked with for a lot of years. When I first met Dennis he was fresh out of the Navy, an Anesthesiologist, husband and father of two beautiful little tow headed girls. Dennis was always laid back, fair and so easy to work with. He didn't have that syndrome of MD equals Medical Deity. He just was who he was, laid back, listened and cared...about his patients and the nurses who communicated with him about those folks. He made our (nurses) job easier because he trusted us to do our jobs and we knew he would always do his. He did.
As the years passed Dennis became afflicted with a neuro-degenerative disease that finally compelled him to retire. He was too young but he did so because he knew he couldn't do his job effectively any more. At that time we said goodbye, wished him well, and missed him. Boy did we ever miss him.
Meanwhile, our choir director, recently retired from a school system in Ohio, has been very involved with a former student, JeanAnn, who has Lou Gehrig's disease. She is a wife and mother of two teen aged daughters and has lately been reduced to communicating on the computer using her eyes, which recently failed her. Jean Ann is down to using her index fingers to communicate and knows things will only get worse. She approached her husband in November about death planning and he couldn't handle it. She went ahead with the Pastor of her church and after Christmas informed her husband and girls of her wishes.
Dennis died yesterday... Jean Ann will leave this world on Tuesday, of her own choice. As I write the Hospice nurses are increasing her sedation... she will be fully sedated when they turn off her ventilator. She just wanted to live long enough to see her daughters in a school production, which I understand she did Saturday night.
So, selfishly, I'm sad. I'm missing Dennis. Damn a mule, that man was so good, so kind and I always respected him. He's gone. He didn't choose his day, it chose him.
Now JeanAnn's day is coming, day after tomorrow. I don't know her but feel as though I do from our Choir Director's memories of her beautiful student. The student who dies before her time and leaves a bereft husband and two teenagers.
Just sad I am... for the loss of one I knew well and respected, and for the coming loss of a wife and mother, loved by many...
Just had to get it out.