The Thankful Project: Day 13 – An Ability

This was a tough one for me.  I struggled and even Googled abilities that others were thankful for.  Many were thankful for the ability to run, walk, the ability to see, the ability to taste.    None of those jumped out at me.  Although I am thankful for all of the above, I’m most thankful for my ability to feel and to feel deeply.

I work at a hospital.  I see miracles, but I also see the sadness that sickness can bring.  I talk to the patients.  I talk to their families.  I learn about their lives.  I listen to their stories and I feel.  I feel deeply.

empathy

One patient vividly sticks out in my memory.  She was an older lady who had been on and off of our unit a few times throughout the course of the year.  I had spoken to her on previous visits so we knew each other.

This particular visit was extra hard for her.  Her daughter, who was in her 30’s, died suddenly.  She was in the hospital and very ill, so the doctors would not allow her to leave for the funeral.  She was heart-broken.  I was heart-broken for her.  I can’t imagine losing a child.  I can’t imagine not being able to be there for the funeral.    She just kept saying that she felt like she didn’t have closure.  My heart hurt for her.

I am big at thinking outside of the box.  Although our hospital didn’t have anything in place to help, like a computer or I-Pad, I did.  I reached out to the patient’s other daughter and voiced how I would like to help.  I said that we could Skype with my phone so that she could be a part of the funeral.  She needed that closure.  The daughter was blown away that someone wanted to help in that way.

I gave the daughter my cell phone number. She was going to check to see who had a way to Skype with me.  The next day, the Church’s pastor called me.  He had an I-pad that he was going to let a family member use for the service. Prayers had been answered.

The next morning, I knocked on the patient’s door and went in.  I informed her of what we were able to work out and called the pastor.  Everything worked perfectly and the patient was able to be a part of her daughter’s funeral.   I asked if she wanted me to leave, so that she could be alone.  I wasn’t sure if it was too personal for a stranger to be there with her.  She grabbed my hand, smiled at me and said…you are my only family I have.  Please stay.

I sat with her for an hour.  I held her hand the entire time.  She cried and I cried.  I didn’t know her daughter, but I cried.  I felt the pain that she was feeling – the pain of losing a loved one, of being trapped at a hospital, a feeling of helplessness.

compassion

I haven‘t seen the patient since, but I think of her often.  I wonder how she is doing.  I wonder if she remembers that moment. It’s a moment that I will never forget.

I am thankful for the ability to feel deeply.  It allows me to connect with others.  It compels me to action.  It helps me empathize.   It’s something that I’m so thankful for!

What’s an ability that you’re thankful for?

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

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8 thoughts on “The Thankful Project: Day 13 – An Ability

  1. You are an amazing person! You even got tears from me, I normally just tear up but a few escaped today. You did such a nice thing for her, that is just awesome. I’m a super empathetic person too.

    • Thank you! That’s very sweet. I just did what I hope someone would do for a family member of mine. I know you’re empathetic too…that’s why we’re blog friends! 🙂

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