Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sharese Casteen, 1961-2009

The morning was supposed to go something like this...

Sharese's dad (Mr. Allen) was to drop off her mom (Mrs. Bennie) to relieve me from Monday night's night shift at hospice while he took Sharese's niece (Ashley) to the airport to catch her flight back to Hong Kong.

But, as we know, sometimes God has other plans...

Just before they arrived, literally right before they walked in the room, Sharese took her last breath. Being there for her death was not nearly as difficult as being there for her mom afterward. Mr. Allen had to leave to take Ashley to the airport. They were going to try to get her on a later flight (which they did). I stayed with Mrs. Bennie and later took her home. What do you say to a mother who's just lost her child? The rest of us saw a 48 year-old woman, Mrs. Bennie was looking at her baby. I wasn't going to pretend to know what she was feeling. She kept saying she would have traded places with her, that a parent should never have to bury a child.

I've never felt such conflicting feelings at one time. I was so very sad by Sharese's passing and my heart was just broken for the family but, at the same time, I was excited for Sharese that she was finally out of pain and had a new and perfect body. Her hands and feet are no longer crippled from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, she no longer hurts from the excruciating pain she endured for so many weeks before God took her home.

Sharese was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 15. Through the years she also developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, a liver disease and within the last year MSRA, a staph infection that would never be completely cleared.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family now as they must adjust to life without her.

Sharese planned her own funeral. She chose her own dress, asked specific people to do her make-up and hair and wrote her own obituary. She only chose one song to be played at her funeral and it could not have been more appropriate. I can't yet listen to it, it's just too hard, but I thought others might enjoy it.

1 comment:

laurel said...

I can't imagine losing a child. Can not even begin to understand it. I have been praying for you this week. I know it has been hard for you too.