There are times when watching life expire
Becomes an experience to behold,
Opening the portal to another world
So different from ours, I am told.
Through this feeling of utter peace,
From a place beyond our knowing,
We are drawn a little away from here,
Maybe tasting the moment of our going?
A short distance down the path we’ll walk,
With our patient in the bed,
Standing by for whatever their need,
As soon as their name is read.
Then their life leaves, sometimes a smile or a grin,
Sometimes a fight and a kick,
Either way, the final’s not long,
As the soul uses carrot or stick.
And we are released back to the world,
A sigh, a slow outflow of breath,
Tears start to fall from the loved ones behind,
Who stayed watching, now suddenly bereft.
We quietly withdraw for a time,
Respecting the need for solitude,
Each to their own way to grieve.
Depending on the person’s faith,
We return to lay out the body,
Just the body,
The soul is gone,
You can feel the shell is empty.
With gentle respect, we remove the tubes
That were helping to sustain the life,
Wash the body,
Wrap it ready for the undertakers,
Or the keepers.
A bell rings,
Both a toll for the departed
And a call to action,
Mr Smith, in room 4 is calling,
Probably needs a bottle again,
Ah well, back to work…
Copyright 2015 Robin McShane