© Imelda Maurer, cdp May 11, 2015
Yesterday I posted “Simply Caring” which included a powerful, simple picture with an accompanying commentary. I posted that entry just hours after learning that the woman on the left, Dolores, providing a shoulder and a place of rest and comfort, had died earlier in the day. That news came to me via an email from Jan who quoted from an email message sent to all the staff from Allison Dolan, the Nurse Manager for the community”
Dolores passed away today at 8:40am at St. Luke’s Hospital with her brother holding her hand. She will always be remembered as Ms. Marvelous, who consistently complimented you. We will miss her dance moves and smile.
Many aging services communities have some way in which the death of a resident is noted and ritualized in a way that acknowledges and honors the deceased while remembering that person’s unique qualities and gifts to the community. Such ritualizing also serves as comfort to staff who also, if they open their hearts to it, experience grief and loss upon the death of one whom they had served with compassion and competence.
My reading of Allison’s message was that she is a professional who has not suppressed her human emotions or vulnerability to pain. She nurtures and deepens the sense of community in acknowledging individual and communal grief over Virginia’s death.