Health care workers have hearts made up of equal parts tenderness and strength. These dedicated people work around the clock to make sure their patients are getting quality medical treatment — and often, the even more important element of kindness. What many people don’t recognize is the toll this can take on these professionals. Health care professionals can see the best of this world, as with the birth of a baby, and the worst, as with the utter sadness that comes with the loss of a patient.
One day, Sandra Kluskowski, a nursing assistant at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana, found out a patient she had been helping was going to die. At the end of the long emotional day, Kluskowski took a few moments to write down her thoughts and feelings as she continued to care for this person in his final hours.
“Did you know I was there?” she wrote. “The doctor would soon say ‘we have done all that we can do.’ If only you could have heard my thoughts. I’ve only known you since this morning but I didn’t want you to go. Your family knew this was coming. It still didn’t make it easier on them. Sobs and tears filled your room but the machines could be heard in the background reminding us all that they were keeping the little life that was in you going. Did you hear me ask your loved ones if they needed anything? I just wanted to help in any way that I could.”
She kept writing these raw and beautiful words as she cried and then drove home. After sharing her thoughts with her husband Paul, he encouraged her to post her thoughts, as written, on Facebook. She reluctantly agreed and posted it, having no idea the impact her words would have on others.
The touching post went viral, with readers sharing it more than 17,000 times so far. Kluskowski was even interviewed by “Good Morning America” and the humble nursing assistant still can’t get over the reaction to her honest words.
“There have been so many who have shared this post, there have been many who are encouraging and uplifting, and then there are those who have said that they can relate,” she said. “This took me by surprise because, in that particular moment when I was with this loved one who was going to be with Jesus, I felt as if I was the only one who was feeling that way. Here were people telling me that they, too, have felt that way, it just made me realize that I wasn’t alone, nor will I ever be.”
We love these poignant words from someone who has seen a lot of pain. She is definitely not alone!