Tuesday, August 06, 2013

death never gets easier

One thing about working in the ER, you realize how fragile life is, how it turns on a dime.  One day you can be alive and the next day your are dead.  Even when you are old and you or your husband realize that your life is probably short, it is still a shock.

People are thrown into these situations where yesterday you were sitting at the table having coffee and today you have to decide whether to take your spouse off the vent and let them go.  That is how quickly life can change.  The person you spent fifty years with is gone. Poof.  That's it.  How do you face tomorrow without them?  They won't be there in the morning anymore, it will be you by yourself.  And even though I'm not them, that really makes me sad.

Dead bodies aren't pretty.  Perhaps that sounds weird, but another truth.  It is life that gives people their beauty.  When they are dead, that beauty is gone suddenly and a mass of bones and tissue is left.  I've wrapped up my share of bodies over the years, put the toe tag on, zipped the bag up. It never gets easier. This was a human being and now they are gone.  They will be missed. Their life was a series of stories, and as I zip up the bag, I wonder what those stories were.

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