I've seen a lot of near death. The complete yellow man I was sent to take blood from, I think that was at the Jewish Home for the Aged in Los Angeles, when I worked at a local clinical lab. I had once wanted to train at County General, but before I applied there, a friend was moving to San Diego and wanted me to go with, and I looked around - I had sorrow family reasons to get away - and my life might have been different if I tried for the county, as I went to train in a small lab in what turned out to be a diabetes infirmary aligned with the well regarded Scripts Institute. But, that was sort of a nothing lab, just got me through, only connection it seemed to me was that it was on the same property, across an alley. The good part is that I could go to the Institute lectures, real smarties there. The bad part is that I didn't deal with the hellfire of LA County Hospital, that I might have gotten used to if I applied and went there.. So, my degree was wonderful and my training was on the lame side, re hospital life, except that I'd worked at a hospital from the day I turned 16, even feet away from the emergency room, but I still was not right there.
My first real job was to start a lab, run it, and be it.
But, in those years, I didn't see the dying, except for one young guy - he and I knew he was, I just listened. Not that we talked about it. I don't remember his name but would recognize it. That was in '66.
The death that I saw hard was my mother's, long with alzheimers, not that they diagnosed it as that then. I didn't see her die, was there maybe half hour after. She is me, was me, in many ways I keep learning about, since we disagreed on everything.
I doubt she apprehended death as such facing her in that way, that day. But she probably did ten years before. Sort of where I am now, five years younger, which is to say, I've made it to here.