Sunday, December 17, 2017

a dose of my own medicine

I don't usually  write about my hospice experiences because they are private and very intimate. I'm making an exception here because there is no other way to explain my feelings about a gift that arrived unexpectedly this month.

If I have done my job right all the family will remember is. "There was an angel there, who took care of (insert loved ones name)."

Long ago I spent time with a very cross, angry dying woman. She reminded me of who I used to be before therapy. Walls of barbed wire wrapped around her heart and monstrously tall walls around her preventing anyone from coming closer.

There came the night she found she couldn't hold her glass and it spilled in her lap. She was forced to call for help.

With my face a calm mirror I assisted her to change with dignity and respectful quietness. I dried her skin and then replace her night shirt. Then I lotioned and massaged her swollen legs, put on her socks and cover her gently with a fuzzy blanket..

When I glanced up I saw tears in her eyes."WHY ARE YOU TREATING ME SO KIND!?" she demanded her mouth punctuating her words with a hard frown. The internal pain this was causing her was visible on her face. I could see her soul twisting in agony.

Nothing  was expected in return. Nothing is ever expected in return. I didn't want anything from her. My goal wasn't to teach her anything, My actions were not because I was being paid to take care of her.  I gave up years ago trying to explain or understand it. This gift I give the dying comes from some deep place within me. A place, where all the pain and sadness in my life never tarnished.

A well of unbitter water, if you would...

I softly cupped her face and I feel my face reflecting back the softly glowing light in the room. "Everyone should be treated with kindness."

Her eyes  reach for mine. and we take the conversation to a deeper spiritual level without saying another word.

What I offer isn't anything I can quantify. It's nothing I can turn on /off,  its a deeply connecting action that comes from a higher place, it just comes through me... I merely open the door...connect the circuit.

For a few nights each action of mine was met with flinching and resistance and angry demands of WHY ARE YOU TREATING ME SO KIND!?  One night I see something different in her eyes. I see  surrender, as she accepts the gift without further question.

She surrenders, and accepts.

My family has been gifted with a gift this year that had me  profoundly unnerved.

I wanted to set my jaw and ask. "why are you treating me so kind?!"

why ? where is this gift coming from? 

I am unaccustomed to this level of kindness. I was struggling to deal with this, rather... large dose of my own medicine.



I want to write a thank you note to convey how much this gift has touched me. But I know, much as my gifts are given with no expectations, this one was as well. The act of giving it, rewarded the givers more then my words ever could.

I am to let the magnitude of this gift sit quietly in my soul and its weight impact me...connect me...move me.

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