Life vs Death

Tonight at work a husband became a widower.  His wife took her last breaths.

A few hours later a child made his way into the world. He took his first breaths.

This is the nature of my job.

Neither of these two (three) people were my patients, nor was I directly involved in the death or the birth moments.

I can’t help but think about what children were born into the world while my husband was taking his last breaths. The children who are 6 1/2 years old now, in grade 1, their parents marveling at the fact that their children growing up so fast?

I think about the moments that have happened since that day… the things I’ve accomplished, the new members of our family, the changes to the people in my life.

I think about the moments that are going to happen in that husband’s life. The new things he’ll do without her, the new people he’ll meet who don’t know him as her husband, the new life he’ll live.

I think about the firsts that the new baby will bring to his parent’s lives.  The first smile, the first steps the first day at grade 1….

Mostly, I think about how life changes, how much life and death I am surrounded by.

I think about how life is not static, how it changes and how we are not ready for any of those changes no matter how much we prepare.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before – it’s a part of my job and it affects me.

But I’m still amazed at how fast life changes so dramatically. In the space of 3 hours, one life ended and another began.  And nothing will ever be the same for those people again.

Nothing is the same in my life. 7 years since he went into the hospital.  6 years since my life changed dramatically and keeps changing.

This year, the pain of losing him seems particularly hard. I don’t know why.  I’m in my 7th year since it all began and the memories and grief seem to be overwhelming me more than they have the past couple years.

There’s an old saying… time heals all wounds.  I suppose time does, but the wounds in my heart, much like a deep, surgical cut.. will leave a scar that is nothing like the surrounding skin. The scar will always pull and hurt when I move it the wrong way, unlike the skin around it.

I will forever hurt and for some reason, it hurts more right now. For some reason… I’m grieving harder.

I’d like to tell the new widower that it gets better – but it doesn’t. It gets different.

I’d like to tell the new mom that life has just gotten better – but it hasn’t. It’s gotten different.

Life doesn’t stay the same, it changes. And change can be painful.

And because my writing of this has been interrupted by my patient’s needs – it feels disjointed to me.

I miss Mark with all my heart and soul. So much so that the grief spills over into other parts of my life.

I grieve for the man who’s name I don’t know who lost his wife today. I cry happy tears for the new family.

And every day I get the honour of being a part of, no matter how peripheral, moments like those.