Say Goodbye Early

I recently heard interviews with health professionals serving on the front lines as they described their daily struggles. One doc in NYC said they might have six or more patients die during a single shift. A nurse recounted that the ventilators make so much noise she cannot even speak to the patients. Of course she must wear a mask, and thus the patients cannot see her face. She said that she tries to simply use her eyes to communicate.

Because the courageous medical professionals who are serving on the front lines are so overwhelmed with patient care, they often do not have time to spend on the phone with the worried family members of the patients. For the dying patient, contact and communication are slim to nonexistent just at the time when they need it most.

I mentioned in a previous post that a friend from college had the coronavirus. Sadly, he has passed away from it. His last days were spent in the ICU, and none of his loved ones were allowed in. It is heartbreaking to think of Thom, a most gregarious, social and loving guy, dying all alone.

My wife and I agreed that if one of us becomes ill with the coronavirus, we will say goodbye early. The disease can rapidly rob you of the opportunity for this profound moment in life. Far better to do have said goodbye only to find you didn’t need to, than to miss the opportunity forever. Besides, wouldn’t it be interesting to say goodbye? What would you say?

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