0 In Making Memories/ Personal

The Pillow #thesearethedays #itssentimental #givingismagical

It started with a patient passing away first thing in the morning. It didn’t matter how many times it happened, I never got desensitized to it. I always take a minute to silently offer warm thoughts to the loved ones. Nobody ever wants to get that call.

I mean, the reality is people die. And it isn’t always the shock that people are sad over – it’s simply the loss. No matter whether it was sudden or a long process, the loss is always great and felt immediately. And that grief breaks my heart.

The family asked for some chairs so they could all sit together around her, so I offered to grab some.

The love in that room was palpable. There were tears of sadness, but more than that, there were tears of gratitude. For however many years their lives had all been blessed by her presence, her example, her generosity, and love. And you could feel it. I soaked it up.


On her bed was a pillow. As I put the first chair down, I commented that her pillow matched the bedding set we had just bought Brooklyn {for her then upcoming birthday}. They were a kind group, and even in the deepest moments of grief found an opportunity to reach outside themselves.

Her husband said simply, *Take that pillow for your daughter*. And quite frankly, I couldn’t contain my emotion. The tears just started flowing as I protested that I couldn’t possibly take this pillow from them. I mean, how could I?

But he insisted, saying that his wife would have wanted it that way.

I don’t know if there are rules against it, but in that moment, there was no way to refuse. And so, I agreed, with more tears, asking if I could leave it in the room for a while. I wanted it to soak up that love, that kindness – and the ability to be so generous and thoughtful amidst that grief. So I did.

And I couldn’t be more grateful. Being able to add this pillow to Brooklyn’s birthday gift meant a lot. And being able to explain to Brooklyn how and why this pillow became hers was magical.

A co-worker of mine thought it was weird. I think it’s beautiful.


And Brooklyn, too, thought it was beautiful, immediately hugging the pillow with gratitude and compassion. She gets it. This sweet 9 year old, sometimes entitled feeling, little girl gets it.

I couldn’t be more proud.

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