The Doctor in Accident and Emergency (A&E) rushed me into the resus (resuscitation) ward as my heart was racing and my breathing very short. I lay on a trolley while they covered my naked chest with wires and connected me to all sorts of monitors.
I wasent sure what was going on in my body so I surrendered to the same loving energy that gave me my life, namely God and trusted the professionalism and knowledge of the medical staff. They were fantastic. However I will admit I was quite concerned when one of the nurses told me they may have to give me an injection in the heart!
On the wall facing me hung a large white clock. As the nurse and doctor rushed around to get everything under control within my body, the clock looked on and reminded me of it’s presence with every ticking of it’s red second hand.
It was just after 7am Irish time. I thought of my brother who was doing a half ironman triathlon in Spain (swim 1.9km, cycle 90km and run 21km). The race was just about to start and luckily I had been fit enough to do it last year (2011), obviously not so this year (2012). Not sure how much good it did him, lying in the state I was in but I sent some positive vibes to help him on his way.
As I lay there with heart monitors bleeping and the clock ticking by, an older lady, Bridgeen, was wheeled in behind a curtain beside me. Her son accompanied her. Doctors and nurses attended to her to make her comfortable and after a few minutes her son left her in the care of the hospital.
I lay there while the Doctors and nurses looked up my file on the computer. Ten or fifteen minutes passed. I heard Bridgeen’s Doctor phone the son who had just left and let him know that she was “very concerned” about his Mother, “she’s not responding to the treatment she was given, she is deteriorating rapidly” the Doctor said. “I think you should come back“, she continued.
The ticking clock reminded me of it’s gentle presence.
Not long afterwards Bridgeen’s son walked by the end of my trolley to get to his Mother. His concern was palpable. Not long after more more family members began to arrive, almost embarrassed to walk past the end of my trolley with my half naked body, to eagerly get to their Mothers bedside.
There seemed to be a growing eerie silence coming from behind the curtain. The Doctors and nurses also seemed to be withdrawing from around Bridgeen to allow the family to be with their Mother in her final few moments of life.
Apart from the quiet ticking of the clock and the odd beat from my heart rate monitor, silence filled the room. I felt a growing presence in the room.
The scene reminded me of my own fathers passing and the almost panic like feelings you can have when someone is about to pass away - Have I said what I need to say? Is there anything else I need to do for them? Oh my God, what will life be like without them?
I must have dozed for a while. When I opened my eyes there were two Garda (police men) present at a desk at the back of the room signing what I presumed was Bridgeens death certificate. Nothing was said. They quietly and compassionately did their duty and moved on.
One of the nurses then pulled the curtains closed around me as Bridgeens body followed by her loving children was wheeled out of the room. I wondered had her Spirit filled the room? There was a small gap in the curtains and I could seen Bridgeen’s body as it was silently wheeled by. Bridgeen had passed on – Ar dheis dae go raibh a ainm (Irish expression – May her Soul be on God’s right side).
My heart had slowed down a bit by then and luckily I would not need an injection into my heart. The round white clock continued to tick.
I remember hearing a Jesuit priest one time talk about “time”. He spoke about how giving of our time is such a great gift we can give to people. He mentioned how giving money is also a great thing we can give but unlike time we can earn it back.
The time we give we will never get back. And giving time to people is such a gentle message of how important they are to us. We don’t need an agenda or a plan, we can simply give our time to people especially those close to us. Just be present with them. Give of our time generously.
As I witnessed Bridgeen’s time on this earth coming to an end I knew she had given much of her time – the love for her from her children said it all.
Be Inspired! Sean M Kelly
PS: Would you like to share a life lesson or inspirational story about someone in hospital and have it published in a forthcoming book?
I’m collecting such stories for a book I’m writing. In particular stories from people who waited on trollies in A&E.
Email sean@seanMkelly.com for more details. Thanks.