be_ixf;ym_202001 d_28; ct_50

Nursing assistant asks, “Did you know I was there?” in touching viral post

Did you know I was there?

I was just another voice getting report and gathering all information so I would know more about you.
Did you hear the marker on the white board spell out my name?
I greeted you in a comforting voice.
I hope it wasn’t too loud or maybe it was too quiet and you didn’t understand what I said.

Did you know I was there?

I came in after gathering all the supplies I would need to get you cleaned up.
Could you tell I wasn’t in a hurry?
I tried to take my time.
I didn’t need to verbally hear you say you were in pain, your moans were enough and I understood clearly.
I ran out to get a warm blanket from the heater.
I hoped that it would warm you up.
You were shivering.

Did you know I was there?

The doctor would soon say “we have done all that we can do”.
If only you could have heard my thoughts.
I’ve only known you since this morning but I didn’t want you to go.
Your family knew this was coming.
It still didn’t make it easier on them. Sobs and tears filled your room but the machines could be heard in the back ground reminding us all that they were keeping the little life that was in you going.
Did you hear me ask your loved ones if they needed anything?
I just wanted to help in any way that I could.

Did you know I was there?

They said it was time. . .

Were you looking down as I stood in your door way silently asking God to guide me?
I was scared, could you tell?
My hands were trembling, as I spoke to you about all the things I had to do to get you ready to be picked up.
I talked about my kids, I figured you would understand because you were a parent. I even told you about how my daughter calls her room the hobbit hole. I giggled but honestly I just wanted to cry.
Did you see how I kept looking up at the ceiling to hold back tears?
The lump in my throat was the worst part. It felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Did you know I was there?

Your body began to stiffen and your skin was just room temperature.
I kept telling you how sorry I was, I knew that if you were still alive and as I was pulling on the tape it would be pulling on the fine hairs on your arm.
I told you how good you did.
I rolled you to your side and you let the last of the air out from your lungs.
I told you I would only be a couple minutes.
You smelled like wipes and baby soap.
I hope the smell brought back memories of when your children were young.
As I combed your hair my thoughts were on your family. How much they loved you and all the things they would think you’d miss out on.

Did you hear me whisper to you two hours prior to your passing that “YOU are truly loved?”
I don’t understand how I could have met you on this specific morning and felt this kind of love for someone I barely even knew. I can’t explain it.

Did you know I was there?

I just want you to know that I did my best.
I was scared again and this wasn’t the first time.
I wanted more than ever for you to feel comfortable and safe all the way to the moment I covered you with a sheet and turned and closed the door behind me as quietly as possible as if to say…..I’m letting you rest.

I only wish I knew that you knew I was there. I wish I could thank you!

The machines sit quietly, clean sheets on the bed, and no sign that anyone was there. I stand quietly outside the room remembering what took place and not knowing who I will be spending the day with tomorrow. Tears push their way to the surface and as fast as they come i wipe them away. I look as if I’m holding it together but I know once I get in my car and close the door I will fall apart.

Please know that I am a strong person and my level of compassion excels any inch of unkindness.
I’m only human, I feel fearful and get scared and yes I cry. I only hope to have others be able to relate to the feelings I have about situations we are going through in the moment. It’s not always easy but I still believe ‘we should treat others the way we would want to be treated.’

********

Sandra Kluskowski has worked as a nursing assistant at Memorial Hospital of South Bend for the past two years. She lives in Edwardsburg, Mich. with her husband, Paul, and their children Hailee, Zachary and Cohen. Cohen is in remission from a rare autoimmune disorder. Sandra often writes down her feelings, but she usually only shares moments like these with her husband. He encouraged her to share this on Facebook, where it has garnered tens of thousands of views. Sandra has been interviewed by “Good Morning, America” and her post appears on Aol.com and other websites.

“My post explains exactly how I felt in the moment after a very sad day. It was my way of releasing what was building up inside by heart,” Sandra says. “This wasn’t the first person I had the privilege of taking care before and after their last breath. I must say though it doesn’t get any easier. My patients become more like loved ones added to our ever growing family at Memorial. I can’t explain how you can love someone so quickly after just meeting them, but I do, as do so many other people.”

“As I continued to pour out my heart in the words that seemed to flow so easily on to the page, I continued to cry even after I had shed so many tears after getting in my car and closing the door,” she says. “I sat in that parking space until I could at least see through the tears enough to feel comfortable to drive home.”

“I have been asked about the reaction to my post, and it has been one that I would have never imagined,” Sandra admits. “There have been so many who have shared this post, there have been many who are encouraging and uplifting, and then there are those who have said that they can relate. This took me by surprise, because in that particular moment, when I was with this loved one who was going to be with Jesus, I felt as if I was the only one who was feeling that way. Here were people telling me that they, too, have felt that way, it just made me realize that I wasn’t alone, nor will I ever be.”

“My heart hurts over the loss of someone’s loved one,” she says. “I wish that I could take that pain from them, but I don’t have that ability. All I can do is my best when it comes to providing the care they need before and after death.”