Central Snark


“Life isn´t fair, nobody ever said it would be!” by Snuppy
Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 10:50am
Filed under: ponderings, Teh Penguin

This is not humorous, it´s kinda melancholy…just thought I´d warn you! I was trying to come up with something else, but when your head is wrapped around something…it is hard to focus on anything else.

I had a Nightshift yesterday. Most of you know that I am working in a Nursing Home to pay for my studies. Many of you know that I like my job. Some of you know that I think it is really tough. We have a couple staying with us, decent people…a bit picky when it comes to food, but tolerable…always inseperable. I remember them telling me that 60 years or more they have lived and breathed side by side. I liked them alright. Last night, the woman died and left a husband devestated and so alone.
This goes out to all who have “loved and lost”.

I entered the nightshift and I could immediately tell something was off…there is a certain energy surrounding death that you can´t escape. I have been around this for years, it doesn´t frighten me. Sometimes I even think “about time” when a last journey took too long and involved too much pain. This was different; the ward was asleep, everything silent when suddenly my eyes fell on a man sitting hunched on a chair, not moving much…almost apathic.

After I got my report I went over to him and I could see there was little I could do. He wasn’t crying, he wasn’t doing much of anything, except breathing …it seemed every breath was a mountain he had to climb. I followed him to his room and made him comforatble in his chair and then I just talked…about everything that was going on in my head…no red threat connecting the different stories; I told him about the colour of the sea I noticed that morning while walking and about the lady that shoved her cart into me at the shopping mall and didn’t even apologize and how I was thinking about going back to university next fall. I talked until I felt I needed a glass of water and when I stood up he asked me not to go. I told him about one of my favourite poets, Emily Dickinson and recited this poem for him:

“Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play —
In accidental power —
The blonde Assassin passes on —
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God.”

He asked me to translate it into Icelandic and I hesitated, I felt it was not my place. He insisted and I mentioned it was about death, he said he had some experience in that area and told me to go ahead. I did a lousy job, grammatically wrong I am sure and not doing any justice to my beloved poet, but he listened and he started to talk. He wasn’t as understanding or accepting as Miss Dickinson was…but he was talking.

We made pancakes at around 4 in the morning, he didn’t have any…but suggested a bit of orange juice squeezed into the dough and they tasted lovely.

~ Penguin out

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21 Comments so far
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Ok guys, I know this is not exactly keeping within teh tone of this here snark, but i ahve a difficult time to think about something else right now…so hear me out and abre with me. You comments can be about whatever you like 🙂

Comment by Penguin

Penguin: i read this last night (in the queue), and thought it was just beautiful. i loveloveloved it and YOU, for having the willingness to share something so deep and, yes, sad, with the rest of us. life isn’t always fun and/or games… and it doesn’t hurt one bit to be reminded of that from time to time.

kind of makes us appreciate what we DO have, when we HAVE it.

this is touching and more than a little brilliant. and so are you. xox

Comment by snuppy

I am sitting here with a tissue. That was beautiful in its sadness and topic of life’s journey. You have a gift with people that you share so generously. This was an amazing post – maybe one of your finest.

XOX

Comment by Lampsha

That was a wonderful story to tell about a rare occasion few people see. I’ll try to handle the funny today while you work on the next batch of pancakes and some poetry.

I wonder if the blonde assassin is where Margaret Atwood got the idea for The Blind Assassin.

Comment by Doug

Doug: didn’t i wonder the exact same thing when i first read that poem? especially since The Blind Assassin is one of my favorite books.

mmmm. pancakes. 😉

Comment by snuppy

snuppy, yeah I just decided to go for it. Since we are not funny-apparently, I thought we should try another direction and see how that works 🙂 I am kidding. Please nobody get offended! Sheesh!

lampy, thank you very much…I felt the words…which in turn makes for good writing!

Doug, that is mighty kind of you. I´ll make some decent pancakes for you, if I should get a chance 🙂

snuppy, I don’t know about the title, I agree about the book. I like Margret Atwood. Not everything…but some stuff!

Anyone wanna have a go at the poetry and tell me what it means to them???

Comment by penguin

That was just so beautiful, and really sad, but I’m glad you shared it with us. That man was lucky you were there to ease his pain, even if only a little; others might not have known how to deal with it so well. The poem is lovely, and even if your translation wasn’t perfect, I’m sure you managed to convey the feeling just fine.

Comment by Theresa

You’re a good soul Penguin. I think about Diane all the time and wonder.

A life lived well
With two in one
Now gone
Only half a soul
remains

Comment by Brian

Speaking of books, not to toot my own horn here, but “Real Magic” has been accepted for publication. I hope to have it in print by October.

Comment by Brian

Theresa, well, that man and I had my ups and downs over the time, but that evening I think we were good company for each other!

Brian, congratulation on your book…it´s a fine story and I am happy for you!

Comment by Penguin

That was a wonderful story. Your work involves service to people who otherwise might not receive such caring attendance. Service to others is a beautiful thing.
I didn’t know that about the ED poem and The Blind Assassin. I love Margaret Atwood’s books. Oryx and Crake is one of my favs.

Comment by claire

Claire, I haven´t read Oryx and Crake yet, but I´ll put it on my list. Emily Dickinson is phenomenal in her writing, it took me a bit to get her, but once I did…I fell in love!

Comment by Penguin

Penguin: as long as we think we’re funny, it’s all good. that said, i lovelovelove this change of pace. and, as i said, i lovelovelove YOU for putting yourself out there like that. you ARE a beautiful soul, my friend. no doubt about it! xox

Claire: Oryx and Crake is excellent. Margaret Atwood is brilliant, and that’s a fact. if i had to choose, i guess i’d say The Handmaid’s Tale is still my all time favorite of her works, but The Blind Assassin runs neck and neck with Oryx & Crake for 2nd. good stuff. xox

Comment by snuppy

Nice post, Penguin. It’s good to mix it up a bit now and then. I like it wh

Comment by Diesel

Nice post, Penguin. It’s good to mix it up a bit now and then. I like it when you post original stuff, whatever it is. 🙂

Comment by Diesel

Life isn’t always funny, either. Nicely expressed post, Penguin, very heartfelt.

Now, could you translate it to Icelandic for me?

Comment by Al

snuppy, I have loved teh Handmais´s tale, and it seems to me I have to branch out a bit on Atwood. Oryx and Crake will be my next read 🙂

Diesel, thank you…yeah I like that too.

Al, I´ll give you a wonderful rendition next time I see you face to face. Wouldn’t want people to think, I totally lost the spelling plot 🙂

Comment by Penguin

You are a true light in the world Minka, as well as at your job. Thanks for what you did for the man in his haze of grief. When my grandmother was dying in a rest home, I told her as she lay unmoving in bed, about the tulips blooming in her yard at home, the warm spring weather – the great beauty of Mt. Diablo rising above the surrounding countryside… things she loved. It is the moment of caring which came through to your man when you recited your poem. Like a hug.

Comment by tsduff

This was a lovely tribute.

Comment by Nessa

Very heartfelt post Penquin.
You are an incredibly caring person and you’re in the right field. It gives me hope. I will be starting the nursing program this fall. I’ve mainly focused on how good it will feel to help and care for people. Dealing with the emotion of death and terminally ill people has been tucked away safely in the back of my mind. I know I might have to experience death on a regular basis and I’m aware of the emotional toll it will most certainly take.

Until reading your story, I hadn’t allowed myself to feel what that emotion might really feel like.
Thank you so much for sharing! I needed something to trigger the necessity to start to prepare.
How can anyone prepare for that emotion?
I don’t know yet? I want to think that building a healthy spirituality will help deal with the sadness and despair.
I’m reading a book right now called “Your first year in nursing”. It’s filled with nothing but testimonials from nurses about what a first year nurse can expect that she/he hadn’t learned in school and advice on how to address each issue. One tip an RN gave about grief was to never be afraid to show your own emotions to the families or your colleagues, and that it’s very important that you find ways to talk about it because you’re only human.

You did a wonderful thing for that gentleman.
You set aside any issues that you may have had with him and let empathy and pure compassion pour out of you. It just might be a healthy outlet for you to write about these things on a regular basis if not here then somewhere.

I have a lot of respect for you!
Good luck with your future studies!

Comment by Zoning Out Again

terry, I always feel that regardless of how inept you are in such situation, the fact that you are trying shines through…and is more appreciated than any sentimental pretence.

nessa, thank you…To everybody who has “loved and lost” and who hasn’t?

zoning out again…looks like we´ll be doing about the same thing this fall 🙂 Can you give me the title and author of the book, I´d sure like to check up on it! And that was a very lovely comment, thank you for that!

Comment by Penguin




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