Over the years I have witnessed many amazing moments at the bedside of my patients. Families have given me permission to share them with you. I invite you to email me and share yours with me and I will add them to this list.
"Whether you Believe in God or Not, He Believes in You"
Upon his admission to our Hospice unit, and eyeing the angel pins on my jacket, the patient said gruffly, "I don't want to hear about any of that God stuff. I don't believe in Him." I told him, "That's ok. We're here to take care of you no matter what your beliefs are."
His wife said to me, "I'm so scared for him, and I'm afraid he won't go to heaven because he doesn't believe in God" I talked to her about the signs and symptoms of the dying process, and what to expect. I was hoping, as he went through the stages, he would accept the love that God is offering him.
He worked through his Life Review, in his sleep, over the course of a few weeeks. He was very restless at times, and then became very peaceful. When I came to work, one day, he was awake, alert and oriented. He was in a wheel chair out in the solarium with his family. After supper I took him back to his room to get him cleaned up and go back to bed. No sooner did I close his door: he looked around to make sure we were alone and said, "Jesus came to me in a dream last night."
My surprised reply was "I thought you didn't believe in God." He smiled because he knew I was teasing him and replied "Well, what I found out is that whether you believe in God or not, He believes in You." Since he was talking, I was going to ask questions and I replied "Wow! Well ...what did Jesus want?" With a big smile he whispered "He told me that He would come back in 3 days and we would go fishing." I didn't know if knew, but I knew what that meant. His family was making plans to take him home because he was doing so well. I tried to explain to them that this was "The Calm Before the Storm or Gift Time" (usually 1 to 3 days) and to just enjoy the time they had been given.
Three days later he suffered a seizure in the moring and became comatose again. When I came on shift at 3 pm his family was gathered around his bed. Later that evening, a few seconds before his death, he raised his arm and cast a line into the air. He was gone before his arm fell back onto the bed. His wife was surprised, and comforted, at the thought of her "unbelieving" husband fishing with Jesus. It was amazing to see.