“I initially fell into the dangerous grief and shame spiral. I shoved these feelings of loss deep down and let shame bubble up. How could I legitimize my feelings when people are dying?
However, I have been working through the idea that comparative pain and its conflicting feelings do not help. To a toddler, their worst grief is not being able to see their friends at preschool graduation. To a high school senior, perhaps prom. To a college athlete, the inability to finish their senior season. To a new business owner, the shuttering of their barbershop opening. Denouncing one’s own suffering does not benefit health care workers, those who are sick, or those who have “greater” losses. A grocery store worker’s 14-hour shift does not get any easier. A nurse does not magically get a mask. So, allow yourself to feel wholeheartedly, to lament without embarrassment. Feel sad. Be scared. Yell. Have a pity party. Then, when you have a moment of strength, reach out and lift someone up (virtually for now). Together we celebrate milestones, together we grieve, and together we are strong.”
Emily Masterson is a pediatric resident.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “A medical student about to graduate. And a lack of closure.”
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Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.