THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

long and winding road

I left the home of an elderly man, having just pronounced him truly dead: his wife told me she kept touching his face to feel it, still warm though his breath was long gone.  I pondered her words spoken in reverence, “We had a beautiful life”, both of them almost ninety and she could make such a statement. 

I was awed.

Always cognizant of the strangeness of going into a home to tell the family that indeed their loved one is dead, and taking care of the “business” of “post mortem”; I am at the same time acutely aware of the heavy emotions pervading the atmosphere, and the blanket of grief that lays across the threshold of the home as I leave it.

I headed up the highway towards my next patient.  I kept thinking of the song, The Long and Winding Road; that leads me to your door; and I considered the strangeness of
life…  

Death and Life, intertwined in my travelling.  Majestic mountains were looming out my windshield, just a hint of spring turning the oaks a sage green color, edged with towering firs.  Wrapped round the base of the mountains like a necklace was the river simply teaming with life.
The deep blues and grays of the sky were reflected in that same racing river that I followed, and yes, I kept reminding myself to watch the road but couldn’t stop gazing out the window, not wanting to miss the view: like a lone eagle, perched above the twisting river in a gnarled dead tree, surveying his territory.   

Thankful for that, I felt reconnected to life.

I see a patient up this river road, and her name is Alice. I call her Alice in Wonderland, because of the magical sense I have each week when I make the trek.  Especially on this
day, I felt the magic of life, the unending journey we are all on together, though death is part of it; death is not the end of it.  Life keeps repeating itself, resurrection reminders like the harbingers of spring that I see along the road in the fresh green sprigs dancing gaily as my car speeds by… along the road we all travel.


About Amy Getter

MS, RN, CHPN
This entry was posted in cycle of life, end of life care and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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