This is the first of the seven stories I promised to share in the “We Remember – Prologue” I posted yesterday. My intention is to post these over the next few days as I have time to finish them. For all those times in life were you find yourself telling someone, “I wish you could have been there,” as it relates to my last Saturday afternoon…now you can be!
Megan Carroll is a young social worker that spends her days counseling families while they watch their loved ones die. She is tall, blonde and cute. She has the eyes and demeanor of someone with great compassion. Her story on this day was the catalyst for all of us to open up about the things we remembered. Things we remembered about the lives and about the deaths of our family members. For that I am truly grateful.
Megan told a story of an elderly woman who had been in hospice care for sometime, but had fought on and had a will to live that exceeded even normal expectations. When family and hospice workers questioned what motivation prompted her to fight on through the pain, the answer came one afternoon in the form of a uniform. It seems her grandson, since the time he was a young man had always promised to visit her, in uniform, on the day he graduated from the Police academy. One day in the summer of 2011 that visit finally came. And she died in peace within twenty minutes of that visit. Have you heard a story like that before? I know that I have because there are a couple of death stories in my life that are very similar. Isn’t it great to be reminded every once in a while of the incredible power of human will?
I had always wondered how these amazing people at places like Hospice did their jobs day after day in the light of sorrow and grief. For the first time in my life I finally understood. When Megan put her hand on her chest, paused, choked up and said “it was an honor to share in a family’s private moment,” I believed her and I understood how she got more out of the experience than she had to give. The fact that she could share that moment with the rest of us was a reminder that nobody’s grief is more painful than another’s, and that the power of human will is absolutely unlimited. I’m not sure where this rookie police officer will work, or how much he will miss his Grandma, but I am certain that her spirit will cause him to do great things and help others in their times of need. It is a legacy that is powerful and can be a part of changing the world. Much like Megan’s story changed mine.