Was it a dream????
I have had the honor to attend several deaths through out my decades in nursing. Probably more than a hundred. Most have been good, some inspiring and a few …well…
One I will remember forever, even though this one time I was not there.
Many many years ago…read decades here.. I worked in a nursing home. Most of the home comprised of private apartments and we also had a small twenty-eight bed sick unit. When I made rounds each day I always stopped in to see one particular couple. They were English and very proper and deeply in love even after almost seventy years of marriage. Just being around them made you feel good.
I was with the doctor the day he had to tell Mr. M he had lung cancer and not long to live. No this is not a smoking story – the man had never puffed in his life. After the doctor left I returned to see how my English gent was doing. I asked him how he felt about the news. He said, “Chris I am ninety-two years old. I am a Christian so I know I will see my sons and other family that have passed. But life is precious and if I was two hundred it would still be too soon to leave it.”
As the next few weeks passed Mr. M got weaker and finally ended up in our sick unit, bed ridden and emaciated. I had Monday and Tuesday off so when I gave report to the next shift on Sunday I said that Mr. was weak but holding his own.
I went off to enjoy my days with my young family. Just after midnight on Monday I had a dream in which I woke up in my bedroom to find Mr. M standing beside my bed. He was smiling. I was distressed and asked him what he was doing there. That he was sick and had to get into his bed. He smiled and said that I did not understand and to come with him. I found myself standing bedside his bed in the Home. He was standing beside me and then I noticed he was also peacefully in his bed.
I could not formulate any thoughts, let alone words and just stared at him. He smiled again and said that he had to go but he was going to tell “them” how kind and good I was. I panicked once it dawned on me what he was saying. I found myself begging him not to tell anyone. I said “they” knew me and knew I was not good and please please don’t say anything. He smiled again, so sweetly, and then he was gone.
I woke to find myself sitting up in bed. I looked at the clock – it was two-twenty a.m. Thinking what a strange dream it was I went back to my slumbers and forgot about it.
Wednesday I returned to work and was getting report from the night staff. I pointed out that they forgot report on Mr. M. The nurse said that he had died. After what felt like a long pause I asked when he died. Two-twenty Tuesday morning.
For several days after that I was not sure what to do with that information but I felt like there was something I was supposed to do.
His wife kept coming to mind but I resisted thinking sure I’m supposed to go to this old grieving lady and tell her I spoke with her dead husband. But the thought would not go away so feeling forced and more than a little stupid I went to the apartment.
We chatted about nothing really and then I told her bout the dream. I wasn’t sure what to expect but she just quietly said, “Thank you dear, I knew if there was a way he could let me know he was alright he would. And he has.”
I don’t think of it often, but every now and then……