Courage Facing Death

This morning over my breakfast tea, I read, rather skimmed an article in the NYT about a nurse, who dyeing, invited nurses in training to her bed-side, not for her comfort, but for their edification.  Although her personal life seemed semi-tragic given her many failed marriages, this nurse faced death with the kind of courage manifested by her willingness to share her last moments with her sisters in arms.

Courage is the first emotion that I attributed to this woman. However, sceptic that I am, other thoughts rushed into my consciousness.  Even though this woman had round-the-clock assistance through family, friends and professionals, did she need unbiased witnesses to her demise?  Was this a way to gain personalized attention?  Was she trying to bargain with God? 

Toward the end, this nurse seemed more and more resigned.  According to the paper, she asked for stronger medication several days before she passed from this earth.  She did not really gain consciousness.  Only her husband was with her when she breathed her last. Having had the privilege of being at the bed-side of several family members who have breathed their last, courage and resignation are not reserved for nurses who appear on the front page of the NYT.

My wish and my prayer for this nurse and for all who leave this life is that they know peace and joy in the beyond.  Amen.

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