You never know when you're making a memory.
~ Rickie Lee Jones
Today one of my former patients was laid to rest. I promised to officiate her funeral service and even though I left my hospice position in June, I kept that promise. She was a real fighter who had been been sick for years, but there was still an element of shock when she died. She had WAY more than nine lives and I guess I imagined she'd fight forever, but of course that doesn't happen in the real world. Her nurse and her social worker were there to say good bye. I worked with both of them and consider them friends; we had many meetings on how to best help and support this very sick lady. It was great to see them and catch up a bit, but I've been weepy and sad since then. Not because of the death. Her death was a blessing and something she wished for every day. When she was finally ready to shed her broken body and set her spirit free, I was happy that her suffering was over. My sadness came from seeing former co-workers that I love and respect and realizing, yet again, that I'm no longer making a difference. Maybe that's too large of a statement; we all make a difference every day, even if we're not aware of it. I'm no longer making a difference to patients and families at the end of life. It's what I've done for 13 years, I love hospice ministry, and I'm good at it. And I'm out of work. I have no regrets for leaving hospice because I was starting a new job and had an exciting new position...or so I thought. 28 days later I'm unemployed and it's been five months now. I miss my friends and the relationships built with patients and their loved ones. I miss having a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and I miss going to sleep at night with the knowledge that I made a difference to someone, somewhere. I know I made a difference today and that's a good feeling. I don't know what I'll be doing in the future or where I'll be doing it, but today I made a difference. God speed, Marilyn. YOU made a difference in my life and I'll never forget you.