Six moments that stay with us as Marie Curie Nurses
Marie Curie Nurses are trained to cope with their emotionally demanding roles – but how could they not be touched by the scenes they encounter? Here are some of their most moving memories.
“I was caring for an elderly gentleman, with his family all sat with us in his bedroom. I was alright until they brought the baby granddaughter in. They asked if I wanted to hold her, and I said I couldn’t because I just knew I was going to cry if I held the baby! I’ve been a Marie Curie Nurse for over four years, but being with families like that still affects you.”
“My own children have got used to me often coming home and telling them my lovely patient had died. They’ve learned life is precious and doesn’t last forever. That came home to me when my dad was really poorly at home. The children were around his bed, just chatting away to him normally. He died peacefully in the early hours and they were so pleased they spent their last evening with Grandad.”
“One guy I remember well was just a few months younger than me. I noticed his CD collection had lots of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and we just started chatting about them. After he died a few days later, I rang his wife to see how he’d been at the end. And the thing I’ll always remember was that he was lying in bed, with his wife and two adult children around him, listening to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.”
“One lady I was looking after couldn’t sleep, so I talked to her. She said that she hadn’t read a magazine in years, and as I had one with me, I gave it to her. She sat there reading it, just enjoying it for a couple of hours. It felt good that she was getting some pleasure out of such a simple thing. After that, every time I went to see her in her home, I took a magazine with me for her.”
“I won’t lie, I do have a little cry sometimes but I love my work. I cared for one lady who lived on her own and hadn’t seen her daughter for a while because of a falling out. She had her phone number, but just couldn’t call. So I gave the daughter a ring and she was with her mother when she died.”
“I remember reading out a letter to a family from a man who had died. His daughter hadn’t wanted to talk to him before he died so he wrote it down. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I did it. She was crying, I was crying, but I promised him I’d do it so I did it.”