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I fucking hate my job sometimes.

15 minutes checks.

"Has anyone called the family?"

My boss buying a new nightgown and bedspread on her break.  When I asked if I should take the sickly seafoam green one to the laundry, she says flatly, "Take it to the dumpster.  Unless you can find a way to burn it."

Chillingly quiet residents, because they know.  They KNOW.

Catching a PCA opening the window, then looking guilty.  Like she's causing...this.

No one wants snack, even though the kitchen sent back chocolate pudding and fruit cocktail.  And animal crackers.

Knowing why that's what the kitchen sent.

"Has anyone gotten a hold of the family yet?"

Realizing that, in the quiet chill of those last moments, you hold a hand and say things.  You confess.  You make childish requests.  You tell her about your Granma and Grandpa and she should look them up and please tell them you're doing the best you can.  You even tell her their names, like the afterlife has a fucking yellow pages.

You realize that you're writing about yourself in third person.  Maybe because it is easier that way.

*deep breath*  I got to say my goodbyes.  That was important for me.  We've lost residents before, but never on my shift.  NONE of us working today have lost residents on shift before.

And I was training a new hire.  I'm guessing this is her last day.

I remember when Uncle Ernie died, and I revisited that overandoverandover today.  It doesn't matter who you are, Death has certain markers.  It's like...a bizarre sort of clock.  The 15 minute check log just made it worse.

Always straighten the limbs of the dying...because, rigor.  You want to leave a pretty corpse.

Our, in our case, make sure there is one.  There is a tendenacy for the body to draw into the fetal position in those last hours.

There is a gallows humor that comes with this line of work.

I've completely lost my train of thought, and think I shall commence drinking heavily.

In the tradition of Callahan's, I raise my glass to Miz Kitty.  You were a pain in the ass of everyone who ever had to wipe yours.  But in our weird, individual ways, we loved you.  And you will be missed.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2017 10:27 pm (UTC)
Wow, that was an intense read. You are such a compelling writer.

I'm sorry for your loss.
Apr. 26th, 2017 10:27 pm (UTC)
Deleted comment is also mine. LJ has been double-posting lately.
Apr. 26th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry. Drink and breathe.
Apr. 26th, 2017 10:57 pm (UTC)
My mom is a CCA and she finds this the hardest part of her job. **hugs** Take care of you.
Apr. 26th, 2017 11:08 pm (UTC)
omg you are so real!
Apr. 27th, 2017 12:41 am (UTC)
Hugs. So sorry! Someone passed last weekend while we were visiting the MIL. It's rough all around.
Apr. 27th, 2017 12:44 am (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2017 01:09 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. That must be so hard.
Apr. 27th, 2017 01:21 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.
Apr. 27th, 2017 01:22 am (UTC)
Sympathies and hugs. Because what you do is hard and so very important.
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:09 am (UTC)

I'm sorry for your loss, but in awe of your strength in continuing to carry this. You're a good one.

Apr. 27th, 2017 02:18 am (UTC)
I was a hospice volunteer when I was in between jobs. My mom is in a dementia unit. We've lost several of her co-residents since she has been there.

You were there and you care. You honored Miz Kitty in a very real way. It brings tears to my eyes.

When I retire I will go back to hospice. Someone needs to feel the passage and morn what we have lost. Sadly, there are many reasons family can't be present. I've stopped judging why.

Someone needs to hold the hand of one in their final hour. Someone needs to find meaning in their passage.

Thank you.
Apr. 27th, 2017 04:01 am (UTC)
The love and support you give your residents means the world to them. Even if they don't say it to you every day. You can tell what an impact you have on their lives. Thank you for caring for them. *hugs*
Apr. 27th, 2017 04:30 am (UTC)
Reading this made me cry, As someone else said, you honored Miz Kitty in the best way you knew how.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for all that you do for your residents.

Every time I read your entries related to Happy Acres, I think of my Grandma. I wish you'd been taking care of her. You two would have liked each other.
Apr. 27th, 2017 11:38 am (UTC)
*hugs* and I'm sorry for the passing of Miz Kitty. Thank you for doing a job that I couldn't and for have the compassion that so many in that field seem to lack.
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:05 pm (UTC)
I'm so very sorry. *hugs offered*
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:18 pm (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2017 03:33 pm (UTC)
My mum died in her nursing home 15 months. I couldn't be there to watch over her. I really hope she had someone like you nearby.

That's selfish of me, I know. I'm sorry Miz Kitty has gone. I'm sorry you had to be the ones looking out for her.
Apr. 27th, 2017 07:50 pm (UTC)
:::::hugs::::: and all the parabolic fireplaces and glassware... Take care of you.
Apr. 28th, 2017 01:52 pm (UTC)
Sending you some hugs. xxx
Apr. 28th, 2017 10:21 pm (UTC)
Apr. 29th, 2017 12:08 am (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2017 02:44 pm (UTC)

*hugs* :(

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:40 pm (UTC)
That sounds hard to deal with. I'm sorry.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )