Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 16

Small Talk With The Dying by Ben Shaberman When I first walked into Joe’s room, all I could think was, confidentiality. I was also told that though a patient might “Why the hell did I sign up for this gig?” be unresponsive, there was a chance they could still hear, so I should be careful about what I said in their presence. He was one of my first patient encounters as a hospice But they didn’t tell us how to manage the awkwardness volunteer, and he was barely clinging to life. I was asked to that may come for us when sitting with a dying person. read to him. He was a large-framed, middle-aged, light- I inquired about becoming a hospice volunteer shortly skinned African-American, likely to pass away within the after turning 30—the first time in my life I thought about next day or so. Sadly, he had no friends or family visiting my own mortality. But more than anything, I wasn’t him. He just lay motionless and unconscious on the bed, finding much meaning in my technology sales career, drawing slow, shallow breaths.  and needed more of personal, intimate connection to the world. Call it a morbid curiosity, but I also wondered what This was only my third time on the hospice inpatient it was like to be with a person during the last few days of unit, and I hadn’t done anything remarkable up to that their life. What would they have to say about it all? point—answered the phone, filled water pitcher ̰ѽ)٥ͥѥ́ЁɕхɅЁѥ̸5ѥЁ])ձeЁͅ䁵ՍЁѡЁи$ͅЁեѱ䁥)ѕɅѥMݡIфѡ͔́ɽȁ܁ѕ́ݥѠЁ )ѡЁٕͭѼͥЁɕѼѡ́䰁$$͕ѕѡѥѱɽѡéЁɅ)Ёɕͥٔ$ѕѡЁIф܁ݡЁ͔݅́͡Ё͕ͅ]ݽձeЁ)͔ɥȁѡѥ́ͼɅ䁡ɥЁѡ́ѥհѥѥѥQɔ)Ѽ'eٕȁ͕役ݥѠͼՍչѥ͡ձeЁѽՍѡ݅䁽͕ఁ՝̰ȁɽ)ͥȁ͔ѡձЁɍյхɽѼ)ѠMѽЁ݅́хЁ)ЁѼЁ$ѡ́Ёѕа$ѼɕѼ)Ё éѽQ)չɕɕչՅѼݥѠѡ́ɥ́ɽ!ԁՕэѥɥ)̸ѥѥձɔ$ѽЁ ͔ݡ(ݥٕ́ѽɅ̸ٕ݅QЁ)%ѡѕٽչѕȁɅ$ɕٕѡѡ5ɵ́ɕչɅٕ̰$ѡ՝ЁѼ)݅́ͅѼͥٔݡݥѠѡ͕ݽɥ)ݽձɕє䁽)ѥ̸1ЁѡхѡeЁѼѽՍե) ѕȸIЁѡѥӊéɥم䁅(