Bedside vigil

The family of the Amish man is singing again as I sit here and type. I moved down to the closest nursing station to listen. There is one man and two or three women, dressed in simple black clothing. The language isn’t English, it’s probably a version of Pennsylvania Dutch or German. They’re singing now is in a minor key now. The rest of the unit is silent, I’m sure that anyone who is awake now can hear them.

They’ve been singing now for 10-15 minutes and at first were timid, but now they sound uninhibited by the fact that they are in the ICU. I would like them to keep singing all night. My book is open in front of me, but I’m only pretending to read. I wish the cleaning people would move on to the other side of the unit, and that the nurses behind me giving the 8 o’clock meds would just sit down and relax for awhile…maybe give them an hour late tonight?

They’ve finished, each said their goodbyes and left the unit, crying silently with one another. I think they are going to withdraw his life support tomorrow. I think he’ll be in a happier place then. Not stuck here in the ICU…he can be with them no matter where they are singing.

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