Saturday, January 12, 2008
Working Our Way Through
It all started when I received a call from our Medical Center Director's secretary. She asked if I'd mind covering for their phone because the other secretary was off, and she has to attend a video conference call. It was not a problem for me since I've covered their phone many times in the past.
However, as I headed back to my office, upon opening the staircase door, which I prefer to do, rather than taking the elevator, lying there on the floor was an outpatient being revived by EMT's. They were not getting any pulse. As I watched them do what they do best, my mind wandered to his family and to this helpless outpatient whom I am sure that when he woke up that morning, had no idea that today would be the day he would be called home. I pondered on that thought and it bothered me. It made me realize how fast life is taken away from us, our mortality ... our vulnerability. I did not sleep well that night. I felt the need to assess and evaluate my goals in life. My mind was in overdrive. Am I leading a worthy life? Is my life meaningful? Will I be remembered as plain Jane Doe or as a person who made a difference on the life of others? I will find out, I hope, once I am in that mansion in the sky.
Death of the people that we know or even people that we don't know is like losing a part of our body. It brings pain that is hard to understand. As Doris Sanford of The Comforter: A Journey Through Grief, writes, "Abnormal reactions in abnormal times are normal." As much as we don't like losing someone, it is inevitable and it is never easy. But as Rabbi Earl A Grollman says, "The goal is to strike that delicate balance between the past that should be remembered and a future that must be created." Let the pain go and keep the happy memories alive.
May God be with us and help us work our way through when we take that journey of grief.