I had visited her on thursday where she was warded in the intensive care unit. There were tubes attached to her as she struggled to speak when she saw me. I told her to rest and not talk, but to focus on breathing. She breathed harder as tears came falling from her eyes.
After all, she was unable to grasp basic concepts due to her mild intellectual disability and childlike behaviour. It was possible that she was afraid of what might happen to her, and that made me sad. Reassuring her did not work.
The next day, I was told that the family members have decided to stop the machines. Though she was lucid, it was unlikely that she would survive and prolonging medical treatment could be fatal, eventually.
She passed away that afternoon, as the rains poured in the late morning. She was only 56, young and shy.
Social workers are supposed to care for our clients professionally, but as soon as we overstep that line of wanting to care remotely more, losing them can be a very, very painful lesson.
Saying goodbye is hard to do but I believe that going home is something to look forward to.