The moth


The moth

Before starting in Palliative Care I worked in a few hospital services thus having the opportunity of meeting many people, among them one colleague. The way she treated patients was correct but very cold. Always defensive with the rest of staff and angry most of the time. Around that time, my daughter was checked in to the hospital for 12 days due to a renal issue with uncertainty of what could happen and even though my colleagues were very kind to me and worried for my mood, she was the only one that came up to me and said: I want you to choose a night for me to stay and watch over your daughter. I asked for days off and I want you to rest and sleep at home at least one night. Even though I did not accept her offer I thanked her. From that day onwards, her attitude towards me changed.

Years later she arrived to palliative care as a patient. One morning she broke down, cried with much grief and regretted the way she had behaved. She recognized that she didn’t need to be so tough. I stayed by her side quietly listening to her . When she finished I hugged her and we stayed like that for a while. I don’t know how much time passed, but the last time I looked at her, she had closed her eyes to never open them again.

That same night I had a dream. I saw myself in the hospital in front of the elevator, the doors opened and I saw her son, he asked me for a hug and thanked me.

The next day I had a night shift. I was in the hallway and I heard someone saying hello, I turned around and it was her son. I was reliving the dream of the night before. I asked what he was doing there, that it was time to rest and forget about the hospital. He said he was at home and felt like he needed to come say goodbye to me. He wanted to explain that his mother had left everything written down, including how she wanted things done. He didn’t want my approval, just to share it with me. I told him about the dream and he said he also came for that. He needed a hug, it was like finishing a job with his mother.

Some time went by and one day another colleague arrived with a family member. The three of us had worked together and she asked if I was there when she passed away. She told me she felt very sorry for her. We spoke for quite a while until we were interrupted by a moth fluttering between us. While we continued talking I tried to get it away with my hand but it insisted between us and ended up getting in the space between the first two buttons of the uniform and once inside, it walked towards the left side and placed itself over my chest. I unbuttoned the blouse, carefully picked it up and threw it to fly away from us and we continued our conversation, but it came back a second time and did the same thing. My colleague was speechless and I cracked up laughing. Finally she said: if someone told me I wouldn’t believe it. It’s her isn’t it? She started laughing with me while adding: that could only happen to you because of the work that you do. I repeated the same, let it fly away and had a nice thought towards our deceased colleague. I think it was a sign, she wanted to let us know she was around and thanked us for remembering her kindly.

Carmen Rosa Rivero

Carmen Rosa Rivero

Carmen Rosa is a Reiki Master and a Nursing Assistant, with 11 years of experience in the Palliative Care Department of the Dr. Negrin University Hospital.

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