Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In Memoriam: Letting People In

They found you in death much as you had been in life.


You once told my office manager that I saved you.  I shrugged.  I couldn't help but feel that I was watching you die day by day.  It's not that I didn't try.  I fought with you tooth and nail.  Begged you to go to the hospital, for anything: a pneumonia, vomiting, I would have been willing to make up a diagnosis.  But you told me that hospitals were places that people go to die.

I watched and waited.  I scolded that one day I would get a call from the police telling me you were gone. You lived up to that prophecy.  I wondered back then how I would feel.  I suspected some version of relief.  After struggling for months and years, I couldn't help but suffer a certain amount of battle fatigue.  I now know more accurately what resides in my heart


Something strange happens when people let you into their lives.  You struggle through their peaks and valleys.  You become soldiers in a common battle.  In many ways they become a little part of you.  The hazard in this profession is letting too many people in.

Because they all die eventually. 

And tragically, predictably, a special piece of you goes with them. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm awfully sorry for your suffering.

I have to say though, this gives me hope, after seeing so many health care personnel who don't care. Thank you. One of the most memorable posts of any one I've seen in a long time.