Melissa is a nurse with compassion and a great heart. She cared for both Barry and me for several days. I watched her tenderly wipe his brow with a damp wash cloth and carefully re-position his head on the pillow. She sometimes sat beside me and hugged me as I wept.
How does she do this day after day, I wonder. Her business is smoothing the journey of the dying as they travel on to another realm.But she also tends the living who stay behind and grieve.
I could never do what she does, but I am oh, so thankful that she can do it.
Melissa made up for my frustration in dealing with a medical world that no one could understand. I told her she was, indeed, an angel of mercy.
She told me that I had inspired her. How could that be? I saw nothing in what I was going through that could inspire anyone.
"You have inspired me, " she said, " because I see the love you have for your husband, and although I've seen many people pass through this place, I've never been touched by anyone as I have you. I have been married twenty years, and I hope I can love my husband as much as you love Barry."
We never know what our actions say to others even in the most difficult times. I saw myself desperately trying to help my husband transcend this world in peace, to be relieved of suffering, and to know he could leave me with no fear for my well-being. I agonized over my decisions and begged doctors to help me make them. I'd never have thought of myself as inspiring.