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Topic: I know he's 97 but it's still upsetting

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Subject: I know he's 97 but it's still upsetting
Date Posted: 12/11/2007 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2006
Posts: 5,295
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this or not.  Health, Mind, and Body. It affects all the above.

Anyway, I work with elderly people. I've worked at the same place for almost 5 years. One of our guys who has been in amazingly good shape since I have been there is now declining rapidly. He said to me today "If I don't see you tommorow, I'm in heaven" I am sooo terrible. I started crying (couldn't help it). He then said (only because he doesn't like to see people cry) "I'm sure I'll be here tommorow"  He's 97, he has 1 family member in the world and it's a great niece he's seen twice. I told him it's ok to go and I was just expressing myself.  Anybody else have this type of thing happen? I've lost 3 of 4 of my grandparents and great uncles, aunts etc. 

Date Posted: 12/12/2007 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2006
Posts: 5,295
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He died today. I am sad.

Date Posted: 12/13/2007 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 59
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I am so sorry for you Shannon, my heart is breaking right along with yours. It's as if he knew though, huh ??  At least he also knew where he would end up. I'll pray for both you tonight. And may God be with you supporting you in your work, takes a strong kind person to do it.


                                               peace and blessings



Date Posted: 12/13/2007 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 3,596
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I am sorry Shannon.  I know you must be terribly sad.  At least he lived a long, full life, and it seemed he was ready.  I know it doesn't make it easier to let him go, but may be you can find some comfort in that, and in knowing that he isn't without his loved ones anymore.  (((((Hugs)))))

Date Posted: 12/13/2007 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2006
Posts: 1,530
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Last Edited on: 4/16/08 6:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/13/2007 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,131
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As someone who has been an RN for 33 years (man, I must be OLD), this type of thing has happened to me often.  I'm glad you were able to touch this mans life, and that he touched yours.  We are often told as we are training for any type of medical work to "Not get personally involved with the patients"  I know this advice is well-intentioned, but it is almost impossible for anyone who has worked with patients in either an acute setting like a hospital, and of course much more often in a long-term care setting, not to get involved with some of your patients.  I have cried many times at the passing of one of my patients.  This poor gentleman had no relatives around when he died, but even with family members there, it seems that crying a bit with them helps to share the burden of grief they now have, and lets them know that the people around their loved one truly took great care of them.  Please know that you will also go through the steps of grieving process, just know that is what is happening to you and don't be surprised by it. 

I have also witnessed many, many times patients who know they are going to die within a few hours or a couple days.  Nine times out of ten, they are right. 

It sounds to me like you are a wonderful caretaker, whatever your position is.  I know it hurts when we lose a patient.  If it ceases to hurt, that is when you should worry.

If you would like to talk more about this gentleman and what you have gone through with him as you have known him, feel free to post here ~ it may help you get through your grieving process, or you can send me a PM at any time.  My shoulder is always there.

Shannon, above all else, remember that you made a difference in this dear man's life, and he knew it.