Left Alone

jharhee leigh By jharhee leigh, 18th Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3hs9zea0/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

.. i kept this story in an old file after writing it... not sure if i wanted or needed to share it.. reading it after.. it seemed like a story about me.. and i tried to tell it as the story of a stranger.. after 15 years i have decided to share it.. i wrote it down immediately after getting home so no details were lost... This is a story about Will... i walked out of the hospital,... he did not!

Left Alone..

I was in the post op. at the biggest hospital in the area right after a major surgery I had to have done. This is about a stranger I didn't even know that ended up in my room. I was there for quite awhile so I had patients come and go as my stay was going to be a lengthy one. During this time you were divided by sheets only and this gentleman was put directly beside me in the semi-priv
ate room. He had family come in and visit for the first day only which puzzled me as I had over heard his condition and he was in bad shape. I did ask a nurse about him since his family quit coming. She told me there was nothing the Drs. could do for him and he was no longer conscience to know if anyone was there or not.

In other words he was there to die and he was not 6 feet from me for the longest night of my life and the last one of his.

I laid there in pain getting my pain shots regularly but there was always the sound of my neighbors breathing. Harder and harder it got and louder. He was going to die of lung failure but he kept breathing. I was really bothered by this as I was the only one left in the room with him and I knew the inevitable. I wanted to call out to get a nurse to move me or him, as the thought of me being there when I heard him take his last breath was really unnerving...

But I laid there thinking would I want to be left alone to die? This thought raced through my hurting head with no quick answer for me to rely on. I didn't know this man and I kept thinking how I had stayed with my father till he took his last breath. I couldn't think of how his family thought this was a proper way to say good-bye. Not being there for him... so it was going to be me.

I was to be the last one with this man when his spirit and his soul left his body and I would have to witness him take his last breath. I found out later this was not the best decision I had ever made. In fact I have not spoken of this and my feelings about this to anyone, till now.

I remember someone in his family calling him Will and that he knew ahead of time this was coming but did not share it with anyone in his family. So, here I am not by choice, but again, here I am in a position that was very un-nerving to say the least. I couldn't just listen to him breath each time thinking "is this the last time?"...

Many times I wanted to call the nurse and ask for something to put me to sleep as I couldn't take this anymore but the thought of him slipping away alone was even more disturbing to me. The sounds and the horrible sense of what was certainly going to come really bothered me. So I started talking to Will. I'm pretty sure he couldn't hear me and I knew he was unable to answer me but I was going to be with him and talking to him when it happened.

As I had said this was the longest night of my life. I even passed a pain shot so someone would be with Will... my friend.

Well minutes turned to hours and hours turned to daylight. Then it happened. Will took his last breath. Tears rushed to my eyes and poured down my cheeks. I stayed there with a man I couldn't even see and thought he would not die alone and fate had choosen me to be there with him.

The nurse had come in to check on me. She saw me crying and asked if I was up why did I not buzz her for a pain shot? I told her the tears were for Will, the man next to me. She then noticed he was no longer breathing. I found out later he was supposed to have been moved out of my room so I wouldn't have to hear or notice the inevitable.

She asked if I needed a shot. I replied, still tears rolling down my cheeks, "yes I need to sleep" and I told her when Will took his last breath as there was a clock visible to me. She turned and left the room. Minutes later they came and took care of Will and sent his body away. So there I lay. I wasn't supposed to hear or see any of that and the one nurse seemed quite worried about my state of mind. She came back in to talk and I started crying like a baby. I couldn't believe the family left him like that. I couldn't believe I was left next to him to go through that. I couldn't believe it!!!!

I spent a few more days in the hospital and the pain and discomfort I was dealing with seemed so petty.

I guess I made a new friend in his last moments.

I guess I made a decision I'm not sure was the best for me.

I guess Will, was lucky to have me there, for him....and that's how I have to see it now.

As I said before I never told anyone about this and how it bothered me and my decision to stay with a man I did not know till he was to die.

I just couldn't live with myself if I had chosen to leave him. I prayed that was the right thing to do.

jesters longest night


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author avatar jharhee leigh
.. i grew up in northern california and have tried to write for years.. now i have the time to dedicate some time to it.. the journey will be a good one!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
18th Oct 2012 (#)

Nicely written article. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
25th Nov 2012 (#)

Thank you for sharing. Will was lucky to have you nearby. May he rest in peace.

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