Michelle could not visit her 75-year-old mother Carolann in the hospital. A nurse made sure she got to say her final goodbyes.
As the public health crisis continues with seemingly no end in sight, many of our regular activities have been transferred online. In this time of Coronavirus, however, even that can be a blessing. Just ask Michelle Bennett, who had to bid farewell to her dying mother, Carolann Christine Gann, over FaceTime. Her mother, who was 75 years old when she passed away, had sadly contracted COVID-19 and was admitted to a hospital in Washington. Michelle was told she could not be near her mother. While she could not physically make a visit to the hospital, a kind nurse took it upon herself to make sure the mother-daughter duo got to say goodbye to each other, CNN reports.
Carolann was admitted to Swedish Issaquah, a hospital in the country's capital. She didn't think she would have the opportunity to say bye to her family, but a nurse didn't want her to pass without being able to do so. The nurse, whose name has not been revealed, called Michelle from her personal phone. She told the worried daughter that her mother's breathing had changed and that she probably would not live much longer. Senior citizens who contract the disease are less likely to survive it, as Michelle rightly knew, but it was still a difficult fact to process. "Not being able to be there and hold my mom's hand, rub her head, tell her the things I wanted to say her... It was such a helpless feeling," she explained in an interview with CNN. "I can just remember the days leading up feeling so frustrated and helpless and not being able to talk to her because she was not conscious during that time."
Thankfully, the kind nurse called the concerned daughter before her mother passed away. Though it would never compare to meeting her mom in person, Michelle was grateful for the ability to talk to her mom for just a few minutes under the current circumstances. She shared, "[The nurse said], 'I'm going to put the phone up to her face so you can tell her you love her and say your goodbyes. She will not be alone, we will stay with her till the end.'" Ten minutes after the nurse told Michelle this, she handed the phone to her mom. Truly, Carolann was never alone throughout her time at the hospital.
The relationship Carolann and Michelle shared, like any mother-daughter relationship, wasn't always smooth and easygoing. However, Michelle finally had the chance to tell her mom that she forgave her for everything they went through together. "I love you very much," she told her mother over the phone. "I forgive you mom, I love you. I know I didn't get a chance to say it." Though it was tough for the daughter to express her feelings, she knew how important it was to tell her mom everything she had to at that moment. She hoped her mother really heard the last words she had to say. Michelle ended, "Mom, it's okay to pass on. It's okay to go now." An hour later, her mother had passed.
Like Michelle, the nurse was also crying as she took the phone away. After all, witnessing the number of deaths in the hospital is not an easy task. "I know how difficult this is for them," Michelle stated. "I can't imagine being on the front lines of that and having to go home every day and risk infection themselves, but then have the compassion and the empathy to be right there in that moment as if it was their own mother. That was one of the most amazing things I've experienced." Let's take a moment to appreciate all the brave and kind health workers at the frontlines during this crisis. They are nothing short of heroes.