The random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are the life & times of a nursing home CNA navigating the ups & downs of living with someone who's living with a disability. A sometimes amusing, sometimes bittersweet look at my journey into real adulthood.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I've got a confession to make.

I feel like this post may mean some of my followers go running for the hills.  I'll be sad to see you go, & I don't mean to offend anyone, but this is my blog & I'll always be honest & true to myself here.  So there's the disclaimer.

Most of you know that I work in a nursing home.  Not too long ago I was standing outside of one of the resident's rooms gathering supplies before I went in.  My linen cart was up against a wall, & I could not see into the room.  However, I suddenly knew there was a man in her room.  He was sitting in a chair that's there for visitors, & he was just watching her sleep.  I quickly went around the corner into her room, & of course no one was there.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened, & it's kind of hard to explain.  I typically do not see things that aren't there - which I guess is a good thing, because that would make my crazy.  What happens to me is that I "see" things in my mind - sometimes images, sometimes what I call "mini-movies."  Although there was no one physically sitting in that chair, I know he was there.

Ever since I was small I've had the feeling that there were spirits in this world.  I think everyone has had the sense that someone was watching them when they know they're alone or has believed that they've received a message from a loved one that's no longer living.  And that was pretty much the extent of my experiences with this sort of thing up until a few years ago.

In the last few years I've met some people that I've come to love & trust very deeply.  I've discovered that I have what I believe is a gift, & I'm beginning to nurture that more than I have in the past.

I talked about the man in the chair to one of the people who is closest to me.  The experience happened so fast & it kind of caught me off guard at the time.  It was a brief image, so I didn't have a lot of detail about how the man looked - but it was definitely a male, non-threatening presence.  Although it certainly could have been her husband, I didn't get the sense that this person was just visiting. 

The conclusion we came to is this:  since I am sensitive to other worldly things to begin with, working in a nursing home is certainly going to open some doors for experiences. 

I'm not saying that I can predict someone's death, & I don't want to.  There have been resident's who have passed away completely unexpectedly.  And yet, I feel I have gotten other "messages" in my time there that I wasn't fully able to understand at the time.

In the last few days I feel like I've gotten confirmation of what I experienced that night. 

The resident who was visited has cancer.  She can no longer walk, & so she is in bed all the time.  Her family lives out of state, so she doesn't get visitors very often.  It is obvious that she is not happy.

Her family came to visit a few days ago, & this resident told them that she is ready to die.  She has begun to refuse medication, & is eating less & less by the day.  She is now in what we call the terminal stage of her life, & we are instructed to do the best we can to keep her comfortable.  It is now only a matter of time.

This was not meant to be another of my sad stories about work.  I haven't mentioned this type of thing before because I wasn't really sure how to approach it.  But after this has unfolded, I felt compelled to get it off my chest.  It's something I do plan to continue to write about in the future, but it certainly won't be an everyday topic.  I'm not the the business of shoving my beliefs down someone else's throat.

That being said, I welcome your feedback - whether you agree or disagree.  The only thing I would ask is that you be kind.  You may not agree with the beliefs of me or someone else who comments about it, & that's fine.  But that doesn't warrant attacks on that person.


  1. Whether a reader agrees with you or believes in what you know to be true, I think we can all appreciate the sense of intuition or understand that you have of other people - if you see images or sense things around a certain resident, it will give you the opportunity to treat him or her better, or more kindly, or be more sensitive to what they're going through. It's definitely a gift, and I look forward to hearing (reading?) about how you put it to use! :)

  2. I still haven't decided for myself whether I believe in spirits/ghosts. I can't say for sure they don't exist, but I can't say for sure that they do, either. I love hearing stories like this though, because it kind of gives me a sense of comfort knowing that *maybe* the people I've loved and lost are still keeping an eye on me!

  3. Hi Renee,

    I'm stopping by from SITS and decided to read one of your best of posts! I think it's great that you "confessed" this..I'm sure you are more sensitive to others. Especially since you work in a nursing home! I respect you so much for doing that kind of work. Your sensitivity may just let you see otherworldly things. Consider yourself lucky and roll with it. You are doing a wonderful job and your blog rocks, too!