Tonite over dinner, I was recounting the days events with hubby. I mentioned to him how I found out today that this sweet little old woman died over the weekend. After I told him, I got up to clean the kitchen and got unreasonably angry that there was spaghetti sauce splattered on the side of the refrigerator where the 'master chef' had lost control of his stirring utensil or some damn thing.
All of a sudden I just couldn't deal with the messy kitchen and went down to my little *cave* where I can still smoke a cigarette when I feel like it. Before I even lit the darn thing, I started crying. Crying tears of sadness for a vibrant, active 76 year old woman who was admitted to our hospital for a serious case of asthma and a bad heart, and lived the last month and a half of her life with strangers before she passed away.
Granted, we all became rather intimate, being that we did spend a lot of time together... breathing treatments every hour, then every two hours. Talking about our families, critiquing the array of silly talk shows, and what was I going to do for the holiday. She was such a pleasant woman, even when it was obvious that she could barely catch her breath. She was in and out of the ICU's, and then back to the wards to her own room. When she was feeling better, we used to joke about the fact that she had to go home now, because she'd already been in each of the ICU's, so it was time! She said she just wanted to get home before her mother's 98th birthday party, which was the following weekend.
We rotate through the different units, and I lost track of her. Today, I was in the last ICU that she was in, and asked her nurse where 'Mary' had gone. Barb said that she died Sunday night. She had gotten progressively worse, and her heart just couldn't withstand the stress. I was very sad to hear that. There was another patient waiting for me, so I said good-bye to Barb, and left the unit. I really didn't think of it again until I got home, and hubby and I were eating dinner.
What a wonderful, wonderful woman Mary was. Breathe easy now, Mary, it was an honor to meet you.