As an ER nurse every day you see foolishness, stupidity, but you also see tragedy.
You see a family struggle with the fact that something really awful has happened to Dad and there is nothing even modern medicine can do about it. Dad is going to die. What went from what seemed to be a simple problem is now a tragedy. What went from a family that seemed suspicious about whether we were going to give the best care to Dad is now a family in shock, stunned into silence.
One door down is another Dad who a family is trying to care for at home following a long hospitalization. Dad is confused, can't walk, is fed by a tube, in other words is total care, being cared for by children, who agreed to try to do that because that is what families do no matter what. The thing is they can't do that by themselves. They don't realize it yet. They also don't realize that Dad isn't long for the world either. The Dad they knew is already gone.
We sit as observers, comforters, listeners, well wishers for a brief moment in time.