I’ve been working on a new book on death and mourning, and struggle with what to include in the book or leave out. When I think about the time my Dad was in the hospital it is not a total blur, but hard to recall my deep hearted feelings during the 11 days he was in the ICU before he passed. However, there are parts of one image that stands out like it was yesterday. I call it the death delivery room.
It’s kinda like a waiting room cause you are waiting for the news that time is up, that they’ve done everything that they can do or try to save him, but it’s smaller and a more intimate setting. I’m not sure if every hospital has one of these, but it’s the place the Doctors take you to inform you that it’s time to say goodbye.
A couple days before I entered the death delivery room, I had a strong feeling that this time was on the horizon. Although I felt it deep inside, I didn’t want to ask the treatment team, or say anything to the Doctor or nursing staff, and sound morbid or jinx it if my Dad happened to make it through, but he didn’t.
I remember when the Doctor approached my family and I to announce that it was time to have a meeting in the death delivery room, and I thought I was going to be ready and that I had somehow mentally and emotionally prepared myself but looking back now, I realize I became frozen. Although the look on the Doctors face is cemented in my brain, the words that came out of his mouth could have been anything cause I don’t recall. I think of all the anxiety I felt about entering that room, and when I stepped across the threshold and the Doctor shut the door I became numb. What’s interesting about this experience is I knew about the room. I had spent some time alone in there praying for a miracle, yet when it came to be a reality, I wasn’t prepared. I know this now cause like I said, I don’t remember what the Doctor said, yet I know his face and the hand gestures that he made. I also don’t recall where I sat in the room, nor do I remember my Mom and sister being present even though I know they were there at that pivotal moment. For whatever reason my memory only has me and the Doctor that tried to save his life.
I share this experience not to freak anyone out, I share it cause as I continue to work on this book, I realize that we all experience death and mourning in our own way. Most of us will experience the death delivery room at some point in our lives. Sadly, we’ll lose our loved ones over time, and we’ll each have a unique experience that will somehow be imprinted on us for life, but thankfully we’re not alone in this hardship.
For anyone that wants to share their experience with the death delivery room – should you happen to experience it in your life – please feel free to comment.