Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not An Ordinary Day

For awhile now I've fallen into the habit of taking everyday for granted. Getting up and going to work had become routine. Days we're filled with having fun with friends, planning for Gareth's return from South Africa and Christmas shopping. But early last week I was reminded of how precious each day that we have should be treated.

It started out as an ordinary day, me and three other members of the crew arriving to the ship in the harbour to tear down old equipment and wrap up projects and print out papers. I was busy sitting at a co-workers station going over a graph when I heard someone yelling to call an ambulance. It took my mind a moment to register this call of distress, but then it grew louder and we bolted to see one of our crew lying on his side.

Myself and another bent down to him while the other called an ambulance. He was conscious for a moment and talking but not making any sense. We tried to keep him awake, to keep listening to our voices until help arrived, but with one last look at us his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he drifted away. He was still breathing and had a weak pulse and at this point we just kept silently praying for help to get there fast as I held his head in my lap talking to him hoping he could still hear my voice. It took about twenty minutes for help to arrive and get him to hospital.

We got the news later that evening that he passed away from bleeding of the brain. Just moments before he collapsed he was telling a dirty joke in the hallway as we passed and we had a good laugh. He had complained of a headache earlier in the day, but showed no other signs of any health issues. I've had to deal with death many times in my life, but it never prepares you for the next time. Each time its new and raw and hurts. Its been very hard to come to terms that your life could just end as fast as this. I keep thinking of all the things he wanted to do, all the things on his "to-do" list that he'll never complete. Did he get to hear the goodbyes of his family telling him how much they loved him or was my voice asking him to keep his eyes open and stay with us the last he ever heard?

His car still sits at the docks unclaimed by his family. The same spot where he left it that morning when he came into work of what we all thought would be another ordinary day.


Anonymous said...

I've had to deal with death many times in my life, but it never prepares you for the next time. Each time its new and raw and hurts

Your words keep ringing in my head like a drum, seriously...each day is such a gift, it is so sad it always takes something major happening to remind us of this.

I like to believe that right before death takes us, our minds take us back to a happy moment in time, perhaps his was with his family, a stolen kiss, a hug goodbye...something loving and sweet...

peace my friend, and thank u for the much needed reminder

Pedders said...

We really should leave our loved ones with kind words of love - truth is we should be aware of the fact that that one time could be the last one.
Sorry to hear that mate and thanks for sharing.

David said...

Very powerful post and a reminder of how precious all our our lives are. Peace be with him and all who knew him.

Brian Morley said...

So sorry for your friend's loss...I'm glad he wasn't alone waiting for the ambulance-every day is precious,we all need to realize that!

Ing said...

Very beautifully said! My heart goes out to his family especially so close to the holidays. Death is never something you'll ever be prepared for that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Very sad.