I had just got snuggled up into bed (yes even Chaplains sleep) when a call came from A&E.
I arrived in 10 mins (the advantage of living close to the hospital) and walked into Resus.
In the bay was an elderly lady, quite obviously on the very last pages of her life, with her two daughters.
They had a calmness and composure about them which was admirable. We chatted about Mum’s life, of her adventures and exploits, her skills and her loves.
Remarkable and beautiful in itself.
And then, as Mum had been a churchgoer, they asked for some prayers. A huge privilege.
BUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING WAS STILL TO COME.
From our conversations, I now knew that the patient was a Nurse.
And that one of her daughters with her was a nurse.
And that other generations in her family were nurses.
The nursey daughter asked about removing the drip and cannula now that it had finished. It was the right time…and the Staff Nurse on duty agreed.
And then one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen happened.
The daughter, talking soothingly to Mum, gently – so gently – began to removed the tape, drawing the cannula from her mother’s hand, and handed it to the Staff Nurse.
A small, routine, mundane act: but somehow, the beauty of it made me catch my breath.
It would have been so easy to have ruined the moment.
An over-officious S/N working to the rules and jumping in.
A control culture which stripped the relatives of the ability to do acts of kindness for Mom.
But No. None of that.
Just the beauty of a loving act in the face of death performed by a generation of nurses past and present.
I am so aware of how my words can’t capture the beauty of this moment.
I wish you could have been there to see it.
It’s just that I was…
and I count it now as a prized moment; one to cherish, and I weep at its beauty.