I have spent a great deal of time recently in the Palliative care unit. Each room within the Palliative has patients lying in hospital bed, in a hospital gown, made as comfortable as possible Each treated with the same compassion, love and attention by the Health care staff. It is a special quality that each member of the team has. Compassion.
Different family member and loved ones congregate. It is a floor of making patients comfortable and making peace. It is a floor of love. Love that will always be and Love that could have been…those are the two things that matter.
Tears are shed in love, goodbyes are said with love. Hours are spent in loving vigil watching each breath waiting to mourn a loved one’s passing. And yet they are still here. Often treated like they are not. Families lives stopped, their loved one still here, There is still love to share, memories to make, precious moments to have. You can remember sharing your inner thoughts of life, their favorite book one last time or their favourite song- even if you don’t think they hear….the love is felt in their heart, in their bones, in their soul….too many final moments are wasted in love of self instead of love of them. They feel when we are loving them and their journey….but often We think of remaining here without them instead of cherishing them and their next adventure. This time, all the time is about love…
The person in bed may not focus on faces or clearly hear names but they hear and see love…They reflect on the love of their life, they long to love and be loved, they respond to and recognize the love around them.
No success, pain or failure in their life really matters at this point. No number on their bank account, no accomplishment they did or didn’t reach in life really matters in these beds. All that matters is the love in their life.
Palliative is such a sacred area to me. They are completely 100% surrounded with compassion and love. Both on this side of their journey and on the other…. ancestors and family waiting there to reunite with their loved one.
Our time on earth is only a moment in eternity. Our relationship, affection and love continues to grow, deepen and exist for eternity. If you think about it we are just visitors on earth….we are the ones still off on an adventure. Love is what matters to the heart, to a memory, to life and for eternity.
Physical things, bodies and monuments of one’s life may fail and erode away but when love is in your heart and life –That love source walks each day with you in your thoughts and in your actions.
I dislike the term “loss of a loved one” or ” Sorry for your loss”….you have not lost a loved one. They are still there. Not physically where you can see them, but they are closer than you realize. You have not lost your loved one….
The love is deeper, you are more aware of that love every second of your life, you value that more….you value the loved one more…..you value time more.
Love is more prominent in your life for the time a loved one is palliative until all the goodbyes are said
…and then life of others returns to the daily grind complaining about the pressures of life and the demands of time. We will take for granted all the moments we have, the love we could share….until the next time our love is felt so deeply and we face another goodbye. And we will complain we were robbed of the chance to love them longer and love them more…but could you love them more than you do right now…If we shared that love with those we care about everyday. If we made it about them. Not about how we want to love but about the love they truly need. At the end of it all Love is what matters but… why wait to the end to surround your loved one in it.
If a loved one is heading home….Have peace that they are at peace, have gratitude that such love was in your life and share your love with those still here so when you look back on your life it is not a reflection of the love you could have given but didn’t but is the love unconditionally given that will live on forever.