I work in a hospital in my area and am occasionally asked to "sit" with a patient that may have the need for some 1 on 1 attention. Yesterday was one of those days.
My patient was an elderly man (who lost his wife not long ago) who was experiencing some confusion and needed someone to keep him safe. I guess I fit the bill because I was scheduled to be with him for my entire 12 hour shift.
While providing care to this man, he began talking about things he could remember about his wife...at one point he even called me by her name. That was the beginning of the trigger. This man was with his wife for 60 years. What an accomplishment.
Everytime he mentioned her name, tears came to his eyes and he put her ring (which he wore on a chain around his neck) to his lips and kissed it gently before putting it back down.
That was it for me. The thought that if something ever happened to me, what ring would my husband wear? I don't wear one because my marriage is broken, has been for quite some time obviously.
What would I do if something happened to him? Would I then feel that I needed to wear his ring around my neck? At that moment I knew that I wouldn't have. How sad was that? Extremely sad and I began to cry. Of course my co-workers on that floor (I am a float) don't know my business and I would like to keep it that way, but that was the worst shift of my career so far.
By the end of the day his family had arrived to spend time with him and they all became very emotional regarding his care, their Mom, his emotions etc. I couldn't wait to get out of there at the end of the night.
Just sitting here typing this is making me cry all over again. I know it seems like such a trivial thing, but just knowing that "we" don't have that kind of connection anymore, breaks my heart all over again.