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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

From Grief to Tranquility

(2 Corinthians 7:7) "We were glad just to see him, but the true reassurance came in what he told us about you: how much you cared, how much you grieved, how concerned you were for me. I went from worry to tranquility in no time! "

I thought that going into management in Outpatient I would get away from the tragedy of death in the Nursing field. But you never quite do. Patients are getting sicker in every setting. Actually, I am probably more intimately involved because each situation as the manager, I have to get involved in now. So what was I thinking!

Today, as I did CPR on a gentleman for the first time in many years, my mind did not have time to emotionally connect to the details of what really happened. I only went through the mechanical motions and duties that I have become accustomed to over the past 27 years and the expectations of my role. I found that I am not in the best of shape as I use to be in and my endurance was challenged as I was doing compressions on the man's chest (all the while I am thinking to myself now I know why I don't work in the ICU) but fortunately there were enough of us to rotate so we could help try and sustain life in this man. As well, our emotions were high as we fought for his life.

We lost.

Time passed and I waited for his wife to arrive. Her cries were those that you would imagine of anyone just losing their spouse after many years of marriage. I remained composed. I did my job. But I was disconnected. Isn’t that what we as nurses sometimes do?

The Chaplain did arrive to spend time with her, letting her grieve. Yes, I too am a counselor but at this time I had to be the nurse. Waiting on the Chaplain though, I just listened. At this time, there is nothing anyone can do but listen. No words can comfort.

Eventually, it’s over. The family is gone. The patient is gone. And we are left with the details. I was numb.

Later as I am driving home, I think about why I did not feel any emotions. Why is it that I can do this job and not feel, nor cry, nor breakdown.

There is silence. No answer. That was meant to be a prayer.

But later a song comes on the radio in my jeep and I break down. There at that moment, I finally grieve.

I realize I am given the gift to do my job, pray for the family and grieve in His time so that I can go back tomorrow and do my job again.

You heard my prayer as always,

Your beloved,

1 little hearts from you...:

Linda said...

Thanks for stopping by 2nd Cup. I really liked this post. The detachment that professionals must cultivate has always interested me. I have a co-worker who heads our counseling department. I asked him about this subject not long ago. You gave it such a senitive treatment. Thank you.