A Deafening Silence Ever Present

Lisa Scotese Gallagher

Healthcare Executive

I tried to imagine it many times
Creating scenarios to test the waters
I played the scenes welcoming conjured emotions
In an attempt to prepare myself for the inevitable
I tried to imagine it many times
Lying in bed beside her hearing her breathing
The silence between the breaths felt calm and reminiscent  
The proximity to security of maternal presence familiar and consoling
I tried to imagine it many times
Throughout the final days 
I documented phrases she spoke clinging to the sound of her voice
I matched my breath with hers while she slept as a way of being one with her
I tried to imagine it many times
Her journey continued 
Utterance of even the simplest words ceased to exist 
I clung to the rise and fall of her chest, grasping for the essence of her being
I tried to imagine it many times
Awaken by the stark ringing of my phone 
Maeve’s voice beckoning for me to come quickly 
“I think Grammy stopped breathing …”
I tried to imagine it many times
The void enveloped me like a heavy shroud as I made my way to her room
Entering the space where her body lay
The void encompassed my very being
I tried to imagine it many times
Her absence imprinted on my soul
The silence growing more poignant as time goes on
A deafening silence ever present 

Author Bio

Lisa Scotese Gallagher, MBA, BSN, RN, is a healthcare executive, consultant and speaker. Lisa is certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator, and a Compassion Fatigue Therapist and Educator. She is champion for resiliency, which has proved integral to supporting essential workers in the pandemic. Additional expertise includes Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care, Pediatric Triage, Advanced Illness Management, and Hospice and Palliative care. Currently, Lisa serves as Director of Education and Engagement for a nationally recognized hospice and is a delegate for its sister hospice in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a passionate and experienced national presenter and is the recipient of Administrator of the Year award. She serves on various nonprofit and medical advisory boards. Lisa is married with four children and enjoys travel, dancing, zip lining and volunteering with Medworks.

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