His father had died and he was waiting for the rest of his family to arrive. He came out to get a drink of water and went back into the room to sit with his dad.
I decided to follow him in. I'm so glad I did.
I said, "I really am just checking in to see how you are doing."
Instead of saying I'm okay or just fine, (often that's how people answer me), he started to talk about his beliefs about life after death.
His people, he told me, his people believe that when some one dies they become a star. Their God is the Sun and the stars are what fuels their God. If a star burns brightly, that person lived a good and full life. If the star is dim that is because the person did not live a good and full life.
He said that his father's star will burn brightly.
Then he told me about how his father raised him through example. How he worked up until the day he went into the hospital.
He made sure that he gave me his wisdom, he said, it was really important to his dad that he tell him all that he would need to know without him. How to live a good life. His son was very grateful for his father's caring words.
He said that some people "talk" about their successes, their gains, and their talents. His father, he said, didn't talk about these things at all. He was an amazing man and he lived humbly. He didn't feel the need to brag. His son loved him for this.
His son was aware that his father was successful and was talented and he had some gains and he had some losses, he never had to prove himself though. His son loved him for this. He understands the value of his father's life. He understands that it is his wisdom and his humility that is the most important legacy that his father left him.
I left the room with my heart full. I felt like was given a gift.
I'm so happy that I decided to go into the room, to check in.
People are always telling us here at Hospice how grateful they are for the care and love we give their family. This story is an example of the care and love that that young man shared with me about his father. To hear the love stories here, to be the witness to tenderness. This is why we work at Hospice.