When we are born, there is typically an army of people gathered to help. The doctor, the nurses, the pediatrician and let’s not forget the excited family members. Surrounded by love and kindess, a newborn transitions into this world knowing on some level that they are not alone. If no one has noticed, hospice has gotten me pondering about a lot of different things. If death is considered the reverse of death and hospice nurses are labor and delivery nurses of death then shouldn’t death be treated the same way as a birth?
I’ve seen in certain movies that there are people who have “life celebrations”, meaning it’s almost like they have their wake, while they are still alive. One in particular stood out to me was a person who had ALS and was taking part in an assisted suicide. She would be taking pills the next day that would taker her off to sleep and then drift her off into a neverending sleep. But before she did that, she gathered all of her friends and family and they sat around laughing, telling stories… this was to be a sadness free zone… A celebration of a wonderful existence. Not everyone is that fortunate.
Far too many times, souls pass alone. Now, there are moments that I believe that the person passes when their families leave the room for a particular reason. Those aren’t the passings that I am talking about. I’m talking about the people that get forgotten. Lost in the cracks. You know, maybe that elderly aunt that’s in a home that people only go to visit around Christmastime. Or, perhaps it’s that neighbor that’s always smiling at everyone but, you never seen him have any visitors. How would a baby react to coming into this world with no one? Does a soul act the same way when it leaves alone?
My point is, don’t forget those around you. Don’t think that you will see them tomorrow. Call. Take an afternoon. Don’t put off spending time with people that you love. More than that, smile at people. People who aren’t smiling back or maybe people that you’ve never had a conversation with… Smile at them. You never know.. Yours might be the last smile they ever see.