Thursday, July 2, 2009

Giving bad news

Telling a family about a death is always a challenge. Particularly when the death is not expected and I don't speak enough Swahili to explain what has happened. Yesterday, I coded a woman who another colleague had done a hysterectomy on because of chronic pelvic pain. The woman just stopped breathing and I suspect had a massive pulmonary emboli that caused her death. When her husband, brother and friend arrived later to see her, myself, the nurse in charge and 2 chaplains, gave them the news.  This was the first death in maternity in over 18 months. Very different from my experience at Tenwek where we had several maternal deaths a month.   I'm grateful for the comfort and presence the chaplains provide because inevitably I'm paged as the family is grieving and need to leave. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Death is always hard. During my career in Oncology -30 years of it - I attended many deaths and saw the peaceful side of death when Jesus was a part of life and the horribly empty void when in the presence of a non-believer. Sara, I know that you probably feel the same, but I always asked myself each time, "Am I glad that I was part of the care team and that I was there?" I was committed to the promise to myself that if the answer was "Yes" then i was in the right business, but if the answer was anything else then I needed to have another focus in my career path. The answer, even when I was so very tired, was always Yes. The Lord had me right where he wanted me. So Carry On in His Service and keep asking yourself the question.

Much Love,
Kathy Bend, OR