My grandfather passed in the early hours of December 11 and was buried the next day. It all happened very quickly. The last time I saw him was eight years ago. And that was the final time because I couldn’t make it to his funeral. Hopefully, when I look back at this, I’ll always remember to cherish my time with family, no matter how busy medical school or residency gets.
My grandfather was 100 years old, yet I still thought I had more time. More time to tell him I was starting medical school. More time to show him my hard work and make him proud (he always told us to work hard). Although he was in great health for his age, I should have known better realistically. But I didn’t. I took time for granted.
As I was driving over to my parent’s place the night my grandfather passed, I realized that all the things that I normally try to get done on a tight and regular schedule to maximize my time and efficiency – none of it mattered at that time. That will all get done. And it did get done (I’m writing this about a week later).
But time missed with loved ones, you don’t get that back. So if you’ve been thinking about your loved ones but haven’t been able to “make time” – make the time. Call them. Drive to their place if you’re lucky enough to live close by.
As medical students (current or soon to be) and future doctors, there will always be something going on, and that something will probably be pressing. But don’t let it become all-consuming. Don’t feel guilty for stepping back or taking some time off. I know there will be times where this won’t be possible. But always remember to make time to find your balance. Whatever that means to you.
In the end, we’re not going to look back and remember that we had a hectic week sometime in mid-February, and we didn’t get XYZ done. Most likely, it’ll be the time spent with our loved ones and memories made with them that will stick with us.
Munera Ahmed is a medical student.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com