Sometimes it's hard to imagine that you can actually lose someone you hold dear.
I was at a wake 2 nights ago. It was Mama Beth's. She was a widow, a woman in her late 60's who suffered from a stroke and had cerebral hemorrhage in the process. Her daughter works for me and has been doing so for the past 8 years. Before she came, it was her sister who was with us. Thus, the whole family has become so close and familiar to us that we had established close ties with them and even treated them as members of our own family. We gather every Christmas eve at my house to party - their family and mine.
Lately, though, their family have been having some trouble. Some of Mama Beth's children had marital problems while others lost their jobs. As a mother, she felt their pain - the pain of not being able to feed your family, the pain of leaving home and losing a partner, the pain of not seeing one's children - all these piled up on Mama Beth's shoulders as she went from one home to the other to counsel and console her children. Needless to say, she did all those without expecting anything in return. She told me all those too so I know how she felt.
The one thing that struck me so much was that one of her daughters cried while telling me about how she suffered at the hospital. But she cried the hardest when I asked if she had told her how much she loved her mother. She said "No, Ate, I did not. I was not even able to thank her for her love too.". It all happened so fast.
When someone dies or is dying, there's nothing much that we can do for them. Not us nurses, not the doctors. Noone can really help. But, the best thing that we can do for them is to assure them of how much we love them and that we would be in good hands when they finally leave us.
Rest in peace Mama Beth. I shall forever cherish your friendship and your love.