We honor our Social Worker Team during Social Work month. Hospice social workers are very special people. I could not tell you how special they are any better than in sharing this poem by Amy Geldersma. Amy is a licensed clinical social worker, LMSW, at Harbor Hospice in Muskegon, Michigan.
"We Were There"
I was there in the driveway when 98 year old eyes
took in the sight of her home for the very last time.
I was there when a man told his grandpa,
"Guess what? Your name will live on, we're due with a son"
I was there at the table when a mother had to choose,
based on price, will her daughter have a casket or an urn?
I was there when a dog curled up on the bed,
next to sleeping hands that no longer pet her head.
I was there with the nurse when she washed a lifeless man,
saw his wife gently take the gold band off his hand.
We were there when a woman turned 103,
to lessen the loneliness with balloons and sweet treats.
We were there past our shift when a patient needed care,
suddenly death was so close and her family wasn't yet there.
We watched a husband help with things he said he never would,
because he realized it was time. He finally understood.
We have heard the greatest secrets, regrets, and fears.
We kept them safe within us, all those words that trust our ears.
We counseled the life-long partner when he realized he'll
"get nothing," there were no documents in place to protect
things shared with his loved one.
We've seen eyes light up over things we take for granted.
Life the first snow of the year, which some know will be their last one.
We've shared more laughs than tears, no doubt.
Humor exists in midst of the darkness,
it's weaved so tightly throughout.
We've been the last touches they felt and the last words they heard.
I'll never find the perfect way to paint the value of our work.
Instead we must remember what we feel, what we saw,
and cherish where we were.
Amy Geldersma, LMSW.