They say, “You’ll get used to it.”
They all did. But how could they?
How can I?
They say, “You’re so fortunate. You have one of the most rewarding jobs — financially, socially, and emotionally?
It seemed true until I started receiving those calls:
“Doctor, the patient has arrested!”
“Doctor, the blood pressure is unrecordable!”
“Doctor, there is no pulse!”
You still haven’t recovered from the last loss you witnessed.
Yet, you pull your pieces together and run into the room. In seconds, a medical team has arrived by your side to aid the weakened soul in a battle between life and death.
It’s all predestined, though.
You read a glimpse of relief in the family’s eyes, now that the people in white coats are here to save the situation.
But the end is all already written. They know that, right?
“Team, start CPR!”
“Team, give adrenaline!”
“Team, prepare for shock!”
Eyes fixed to a screen with electrical waves.
“Come on, heart, please don’t give up on us yet!”
Other eyes in the room fixed with helpless hope on you.
2 minutes, 6 minutes, 10 minutes.
The beeping monitor is piercing the dead silence warning everyone that a fierce battle is being fought here.
You wonder if their birth was as noisy as this.
You wonder if they lived the life they wished.
You wonder if they were prepared for this.
Sometimes, it’s declared in a room full of loved ones. You withdraw silently, giving them space to grieve and yourself space to keep pulling yourself together.
Sometimes, it’s only the medical team and the now-dead body, with no need to express condolences audibly.
And then you wonder if that life you’ve been trying to preserve ever mattered to anyone else.
You wonder if their life was as lonely as their death.
You wonder if they were ever loved, ever needed.
If someone somewhere would shed tears on their loss.
You spare some of your own just in case, and in the emptiness of the halls, you let them flow.
For every departing human soul deserves a farewell tear.
May God have mercy on their souls and ours, and may I never get used to this.
Dana Hassneiah is an internal medicine resident.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com