A dear friend was admitted to the ICU at a local hospital after an arduous battle with cancer. Her family lives on the West Coast and told me the doctors didn’t think she’d make it. I rushed to the hospital and sat with her for a few hours as she drifted in and out of consciousness. I’d like to think she knew I was there.
Early the next morning, I called the hospital to find out her condition. “We don’t have a patient by that name, ” they told me
“Of course you do. I was at her bedside a few hours ago,” I said, a bit annoyed about the bureaucratic inefficiencies.
My call was transferred to the medical unit where they told me she had been discharged. “Of course she wasn’t.” Now I was really annoyed. “She didn’t just walk out of there,” I snapped.
When you die in the hospital
I tried, but I couldn’t deny the awful truth. My friend had passed away. I was the last person to see her alive, other than the medical staff. Now there was no record of her being a patient in the hospital.
When you die, you’re no longer a person.