How do you say goodbye to someone you know you won't see again? Not just a person moving out of town or leaving a job, but a person who you know only has a few more days to live. They will be gone by Monday morning.
I have had the honor of doing this several times the past few years. I did it today. This is my profession. They are not family. They are just patients. But in that moment they are your mother. They are your father. They are your brother, your sister.
They know it is our last farewell. Their family member present also knows I am offering a final goodbye.
Some of them I know well. Some are merely acquaintances. They all shed a part of themselves to me in that moment.
And I give them my hands.
And my heart.
They always accept.