This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.
Maryan Bova has worked as a registered nurse (RN) with palliative care for over 25 years in the community, helping people die at home with dignity.
She knows what it is like to witness people in the final stages of their life. People of all walks of life, ages and genders, experiencing the same thing - being given a terminal diagnosis and trying to come to terms with it.
For some, they have struggled to cope, reckoning with the idea they don't have much time left. Others have managed to come to peace with what's in store for them, and use the time left to build stronger relationships with their loved ones. But regardless of where the patient is on the path to palliative care, Maryan aims to support them no matter what.
Last year, Maryan experienced a "full circle moment". Her mum Helen was diagnosed with brain cancer, leaving Maryan to do a job she knows so well - but this time around, it was on a much deeper intimate level. It was someone she loved.
Watch: Matthew O'Reilly talks about his experiences as a first responder on TedX. Post continues below.
As an RN working in palliative care, Maryan's role included a range of things - monitoring symptoms and adverse effects, providing treatments, education and support.
"You become a pivotal member of that person's community," Maryan said to Mamamia. "Hopefully, you have the opportunity to develop a relationship over that period of time, with the patient getting to know yourself and the service. You also play a key liaison role with the person's GP and the wider palliative care team."
In 1997, Maryan first started working in the palliative care space. And throughout her career, she's seen some really horrible experiences, and also some beautiful ones too.
"The experiences that stand out for me are always the ones that best reflect your own circumstances. I'm a mum of three girls, so seeing anyone in my own age bracket, mums or young kids dying, it obviously touches a nerve. Especially when the patients are so young, you can see they've just been thrust into a world that is beyond what the average child experiences - their parents may live to a ripe old age, but their child won't. Your heart goes out to them," Maryan said.