As we know, inspiration is sometimes found in the most unlikely places! A recent telephone conversation with a nurse at my Dad’s nursing home inspired this blog post. This conversation was supposed to be an update about his flu-like symptoms. Our family was perplexed over the addition of a second antibiotic, and the nurse – let’s call her Florence – was trying to convince me of the benefits of this medication during the phone call.
About three minutes into the call, Florence decided to switch gears and wanted to talk about Alzheimer’s disease. For some reason, she assumed that it was necessary to explain to me the progression of the disease and how, eventually, it would lead to my Dad’s death. I was shocked that she found the need to lecture me about his illness and then follow that up with relaying how it will take his life.
Was nurse Florence just trying to impress me with her knowledge base, or was she on an ego trip? It’s hard to say, but I’m leaning towards the ego trip. One of my favorite teachers, Dr. Wayne Dyer, advises that the ego is an acronym for edging God out – he’s so right!
Florence’s decision to lecture a family member about their loved one’s illness was very troubling to me. Did she assume that I knew absolutely nothing about Alzheimer’s disease? This was a big mistake on her part, since I don’t know of anyone who does not make a point of learning all they can about their loved one’s disease.
Also, Florence’s choice to play God and predict when and how my Dad will pass away is especially offensive to me. Her clinical description went beyond insensitivity. I wanted to say to her: “Guess what, Florence? In case no one has told you, you’re not God!” Apparently, she thinks because she works in the medical field, that she can accurately predict when someone will die. I assume that she was absent from class the day her fellow nursing students learned about how to talk to family members. Her ludicrous notion that she could know something only God knows angered me greatly, mainly because it’s a reflection of how society views life and death.
We cannot live our lives with a constant fear of death. If you have a loved one who suffers from an illness, their passing might be an ever-present thought. I’m here to say ignore that thought! Instead, celebrate every precious moment of their life as well as your own. Despite what any doctor or nurse will tell you, the only one who knows when and exactly how someone will pass away is God, and the last time I looked, He doesn’t have a stand-in. Carpe diem!