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  • Writer's picture Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

At the end of each day

I have witnessed over a thousand last breaths.

I have prepared twice that many people to say goodbye to someone they love.

Does this have me questioning my own mortality? Absolutely, every single day, but it also opens me up to so much more than death… which is life, love, faith, culture, tradition, family, friendships, and compassion on levels I never thought possible.

This work is not easy, it takes its toll, and some days I wonder how much longer I can do it.

This is my truth.

This is my reality.

This is my life.

Each day I meet a beautiful human being who is facing the end of their life, and the knowledge that their time has been cut short, realizing that all the things they hoped to do would never happen, and that one day, maybe soon, they would have to say goodbye to someone they love.

And I meet their person… the one they have to say goodbye too, and I see in their eyes the sadness, and the longing for more time, wishing things were different.

I feel their ache, and I feel their sadness… but all of this motivates me to honor them in a way they deserve, to listen to what they have to say, to provide tools so they can navigate this time with ease and grace.

I want desperately to replace their pain with peace if I can… that is always my goal.

I am called to do this work… I have been all my life…

At the end of each day, I am filled with gratitude that I was trusted to be present for someone at the most difficult and most intimate time of their life, and I never take that gift for granted.

And at the end of each day, I am reminded to truly savor my own life, to cherish the people I love, to embrace the day in a way that lets me know that if tomorrow doesn’t come for me…

I did not waste a moment of it.

This work is hard, but it is beautiful, and it is the constant reminder that life is fragile, we are fragile, and every single moment we have is a gift.

At the end of each day... I am thankful for the opportunity to do this work.



Photo credit: @Bobandmarge (Instagram)

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