Friday, March 6, 2009

A cessation of suffering

One of my former patients died this week. I just read his obit in the local paper and spent some time crying and reminiscing about him.

Doodle was one of the funniest, sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He would walk the hallways and when I had a quiet moment I'd offer him my arm and we'd walk together, chatting about nothing much but conversing nonetheless.

Me: "It's a beautiful day today, Doodle"

D: "Oh, that's for sure, it's a beautiful day, that's for sure. *singing* And the roses growing in the garden, and the lilacs and the roses, the roses growing..."

That song was constantly on his lips. I can still hear his baritone voice murmuring that song as he walked. When he was stressed about anything, that song would get faster and faster. I knew Doodle was not happy when the wordsallrantogetherlikethis....

Once, after he'd had an accident, I was cleaning him up and getting him into new underpants. I was wiping him and accidentally grazed a very sensitive part of the male anatomy and he jumped and said "Hey! Watch the junk! Gotta watch the junk, that's for sure...."

I smiled and cried at the same time as I read that he had died this morning. I am sad because I truly believe that the world is a little less bright without his presence, no matter how limited it may have been....but at the same time I am glad that there has been a cessation of suffering for him.

There is a memorial service this weekend for him, and I think that I may attend. I don't normally attend funerals, but this isn't a funeral...because Doodle, in typical Doodle-style, has donated his body to science.

It's almost spring, and I think that I may plant a rose in memory of my friend Doodle. I think he would have liked that.


Kathy said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it, Ninja Medic, are a truly kind and loving soul! I wish you peace and comfort in the loss of your friend Doodle.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I hate seeing the obituaries in the paper. Can't decide which is worse, those about the patients you spent lots of time with and really got to know, or those you saw once in an acute setting...