I sent a lot of people away in the hospital, but I couldn't accompany my grandma on the last ride
I couldn't accompany my grandma on the last ride
In September 2016, the freshman year started, and the teacher asked everyone about their wishes in the class. When asked "Which classmate was not transferred?", only me and another girl in the class raised their hands.
This profession that seems to be less valued is social work - in the community, hospitals, drug rehabilitation institutions, and disabled caring societies, helping people in trouble to solve problems and assisting them to return to society.
Caring, helping people, and earning, sounds good. When filling out the application form after the college entrance examination, I selected all 6 first choices as "social work".
After waiting for two months, an admission letter arrived home.
The unbearable heat has faded in September. After saying goodbye to my grandparents, I took out the 8 steamed buns that my grandma had forced into my suitcase, and happily carried a large bag and a small bag, and took the green train bound for Suzhou.
Campus life is unremarkable, classrooms, libraries and dormitories are all three-point and one-line, step by step. In the blink of an eye, it was time for the third-year professional internship.
All the units available for internship in the school were full, so I signed up to go to the hematology department of a pediatric hospital in Shanghai. Every Friday after school, I take the subway, the bus, and another train, and it takes four or five hours for each trip to go back and forth.
The first time I opened the door of the hematology department, I smelled a strong and persistent smell of disinfectant. The narrow corridor is full of hospital beds, and many children are lying on the beds for transfusions, watching cartoons motionlessly.
"Ah—" Suddenly, the scream of a little girl hit my eardrums, and I immediately ran to the sound.
I saw that the little girl was rolling hard on the hospital bed, and was being held tightly by several adults beside her. The adults coaxed: "Tiantian, the doctor said that you can't move around, it will be fine in a while."
"What's the matter, kid?" I walked over and squatted down, holding her little hand.
"Just after the puncture, she screams in pain every time, but she can't help it." Tiantian's mother said while wiping the tears from the corners of her eyes.
Later, Tiantian and I gradually became acquainted with each other. We played with Barbie dolls and played house together. Once when I was leaving, she said, "If only you were my sister!" I smiled and promised to come with her every week.
About a month later, it was Friday again. It rained heavily before school was over. I couldn't overcome the lazy gene in my body. I consoled myself: It's not a problem if I don't go to the hospital for a week. So the week I was supposed to be there, I was absent.
A week later, when I pushed open the door of the ward, a patient happened to be rushed over and went straight into the emergency room.
My heart suddenly sank, and I had a bad premonition, so I hurried to Xiao Tiantian's ward. As soon as I arrived at the door, I saw the empty white quilt curled up in a lonely ball, and the little toy was waiting for her little master.
The minute hand moved 3 more times before the doctor came out. He walked over to Tiantian's parents and whispered a few words, and the cry of collapse instantly resounded throughout the ward.
At that moment, a strong annoyance overwhelmed me: "If I had arrived on time last week, it might not have been like this..." I dragged my stiff body and climbed onto the bus. I couldn't hold it any longer, and cried like no one else was there. stand up.
The supervisor knew my guilt and unhappiness, and told me that Tiantian was originally fasting. Grandpa couldn't bear to watch the baby starve, so he fed her a mouthful of fried rice, so...
However, the stone on my heart was always heavy, and I couldn't believe that the god of death took the lovely baby away so easily.
In 2019, I came to Shanghai for postgraduate studies, and I chose the Anning Ward of the hospital among the many internship units.
When graduation is approaching, all kinds of recruitment information are swiped every day, and everyone is working hard towards a wonderful future.
I scrolled the mouse, browsed the web page aimlessly, turned to the last page, saw that a community hospital was recruiting social workers, so I submitted my resume.
3 days later, I received an interview notice. A month later, I put on my white coat again and returned to the Anning Ward.
Every morning, I ride a bicycle, facing the rising sun and green trees along the way, to accompany some people to spend the last time of their lives. The hustle and bustle outside the window and the quietness of the ward are like two worlds isolated from each other.
Unlike the children who were surrounded by their parents before, the elderly here mostly lie alone, with diapers, towels, clothes and bags of fruit piled on the foot of the bed and on the table. Years of radiotherapy and chemotherapy have already tossed them into sallow skin and skinny bones.
Unlike secondary and tertiary hospitals, the tranquility ward in the community is equipped with a large number of painkillers, which are specially used to relieve the sudden severe pain of the patient.
The tranquility ward seems to be synonymous with powerlessness. Doctors, nurses, family members, patients, all of them didn't say anything, but they were all feeling powerless.
"It's also a drag on my family to hang half-dead like this. It's better to leave early." Facing the extreme depression in the patient's words, I was often speechless.
I silently spent a month researching more powerful words of comfort, only to find that the best comfort is to speak less and listen more. They need to vent in silence, so quiet that no matter how desperate they can be tolerated and accepted.
"My stoma bag fell off again, and the feces and urine leaked out of the bed, which kept the nurses busy all morning." The 6-bed Granny Liu whispered, showing a very guilty look.
"We don't want to burden others. I can see that you are very considerate of the nurse. How about we send her a small gift?" I slowly followed her intention and calmed down the small words in her words. mood.
Once, a humorous uncle, who fasted for two months because of intestinal obstruction, said, "I can't stand it anymore, so I'll go first. Just bring me some wine this time next year."
I responded, "Okay. It just so happened that the doctor said to open two bottles of sleeping pills in the afternoon, and the pain will soon be gone." Turned over and fell asleep.
On the one hand, they are very depressed, and on the other hand, they are supported by the will to move forward. Maybe this is their normal state.
I also slowly accepted the feeling of being powerless, and tried to imagine putting myself in each hospital gown, so that I could penetrate the surface of language and hear their true heart.
On December 31, 2019, we prepared a bunch of clown costumes and props, and held a lively New Year's Day event in the ward.
The uncle, who usually quarrels with his wife, hugged his wife for the first time and kissed her on the face due to the booing of everyone.
The wife blushed with excitement, and kept "complaining": "Why did you go in the first 40 years? Wouldn't it be better if you did this earlier?" The wife talked about her husband who had advanced kidney cancer and weighed only 90 pounds, while giving him She put on her little red hood.
We came to the bedside of a 91-year-old grandfather who was suffering from pancreatic cancer, and held a small microphone to interview him about his New Year's resolution.
The grandfather put on an oxygen mask, sat up slowly, and said, "My family was poor when I was young, and I didn't spend a penny on school. It was all cultivated by the state. Now I only have one wish, and I hope to donate my body to the state after I leave." The wife on the side nodded and said that she was also included in the body donation.
As soon as the New Year's Day holiday was over, I went to the relevant institution to go through the formalities for the two elderly people. When I received the materials, my heart trembled and I also received a copy for myself.
Since then, the feeling of powerlessness in my heart has gradually disappeared, and I have been taking them to experience different new and interesting things, and I will never get tired of it.
In the spring, I will go to the nearby flower market to buy a large bunch of flowers, take the old man to bask in the sun, and make garlands; I adopted a puppy in the hospital, and at 3 pm I will play with the old man and the puppy after the infusion; I sing Suzhou for the past. Pingtan's grandmother put on lipstick, connected to a video with volunteers outside the venue, and "walked" to the Suzhou River, where she had her first date.
Another time, when I brought a college student to visit an old man, I inadvertently caught a glimpse of an old man with a tape-covered radio next to his pillow, with song titles densely written on it.
Intuition told me that the owner of the radio must have a story. After chatting, I learned that this old man participated in the War of Resistance Against U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea.
The next day, we walked to his bed with a special gift - stories of his past battlefields that we made into a life album.
The old man touched the photo of himself in military uniform with his dry hands tremblingly, and said excitedly, "Okay, okay..." A week later, the old man passed away.
In September 2020, I was sent to a centralized isolation point for a month of closed work. After the mission, he flew back to the ward. The beds of the grandfather who donated the body and the grandmother of Suzhou River were all empty. At that moment, I couldn't help but burst into tears.
When I made up my mind to spend more time with these elderly people, I didn't know that my grandmother had entered the intensive care unit.
One morning in February 2021, grandma got up to dry clothes and fell down with a sudden cerebral hemorrhage. Outside the rescue room is the figure of Grandpa pacing anxiously alone. Grandpa didn't want to delay my work, so he chose to hide it as always. It's been two weeks by the time I know.
I took a leave of absence from the work unit, and the phone rang while I was packing. The video shows my grandfather crying, and my grandma may not be doing well.
At that moment, I was blinded, and dragged my half-packed suitcase to the airport, and my anxious heart had already been mentioned in my throat.
The plane gradually lifted off, and the wandering consciousness flew back to the past.
When I was 7 years old, my father died of hepatitis, my mother remarried, and my grandparents had only a young son with epilepsy. Looking for a job by renting a house.
Over the years, I seem to be absent when they need me. I secretly made up my mind to make up for it, but my grandmother couldn't wait until I went back to do my filial piety.
On the day of the cremation, my grandfather remarked that my grandmother was still blessed, and I have been worthy of her all these years. I saw the tears falling from the corners of Grandpa's eyes, and heard that he was comforting me and didn't want me to blame myself too much.
I have accompanied so many people to the end of their lives, but I only missed the dying moments of my loved ones. I don't know how long it will take to forgive myself.
Amid all the objections, I went back to the hospital to quit my job and put down all my honors.
When sorting out the work materials, I found that the last patient who left was the 200th patient with me.
Perhaps it is because of my hospice work that I have a better understanding of the meaning of life. I can no longer let my grandfather, who is almost 80 years old, cook and dress for my uncle who has epilepsy.
A month later, my grandfather was diagnosed with high blood pressure and mild cerebral infarction, and was hospitalized.
When I was taking care of me, the familiar ward environment reminded me of the old people I had accompanied. Their smiling faces, the temperature of their palms, and the videos we recorded together are all vivid in my mind.
I suddenly had a new idea: why not write down the stories that have always warmed me to illuminate the hearts of more people?
So, in my hometown thousands of kilometers away from the An Ning Ward, I began to write the vivid stories one by one—their patience and will to live, the unspeakable fear of facing death, the love and parting that were too late to express... …
I think every moving story hides the last kindness they gave to the world, and carries the real life they have gone through.