Young eyes panicky
Cold clammy hands crushed mine as she half whispered and half cried “Doctor, my stomach”
“Don’t worry, you will be fine”
I believed what I said. Faith Perhaps.
Where does the body end and the person begin?
It is sublime. I can no longer tell. It is easy and it is hard. We are special until we are not. My mortality is not real until i have to help others to accept theirs. At what point does it become okay to watch a person die and not grieve? I can no longer tell.
Sympathy. Denial. Acceptance. Surrender.
How do you deal? I fight. I fight. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose.
She did not slip away, she was dragged. Screaming. Kicking. Fighting Death.
It was not swift. It was slow. And loud. And taunting. And torturous.
And I was there. I was there. Her hand in mine. My hand in hers. I was there. And she was here. Until she wasn’t.
And in the end, Death’s grasp was stronger than her grasp on me
And I wondered who I was comforting, when I said to her “Don’t worry, you will be fine”
Was it for her or myself?
“For health professionals who know the pain of losing a patient”
Art by Antonio Ortega