They Comfort Strangers, So NO-ONE Dies Alone

They Comfort Strangers, So NOBODY Dies Alone

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When patients are close to death, and don’t have loved kinds to get with them, David Wynn and Carolyn Lyon rush to the hospital.

“They have no one for various factors, you understand, they’ve outlived friends and family, they’ve under no circumstances married,” Lyon says.

For about six years, Lyon has been comforting sufferers in their final hours at St. Joseph Medical center in Orange, Calif.; for Wynn, it’s been about nine years.

“For some motive I always wonder about the individuals mom,” David Wynn says. “She saw him first, and I found him last. It had been her and me that will be the bookends of this person’s life. So each time that I leave an individual who has passed away, there is this factor of sadness.”

But this kind of work also offers its rewards. Wynn remembers one guy who was estranged from his friends and family.

“I was sitting down there with him and I heard someone at the door. Turns out it’s his child,” Wynn says. “And he, I assume, felt a little bit uncomfortable, and so he asked me to stay.”

Then, the patient’s girl came in. “These are persons who hadn’t seen the other person in probably 10 or 20 years,” Wynn says.

While the members of the family exchanged apologies, Wynn recalls the daughter declaring, “I don’t even know why I was angry at you, I don’t even remember.”

“Plus they said, ‘We’re going to try to be considered a family again,’ ” Wynn says.

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“You know, we speak about the previous senses to go will be the good sense of contact and hearing,” Wynn says. “And I hope that there was enough left of the dad that he previously some sense that this bad situation had been healed through his loss of life.”

Wynn says he felt honored, simply to witness that reconciliation, towards the end of the man’s life.

Audio produced for Morning hours Edition by Liyna Anwar.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that provides people the opportunity to interview good friends and loved kinds about their lives. These conversations will be archived at the American Folklife Middle at the Library of Congress, allowing individuals to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how exactly to interview somebody in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

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