All Shook Up

I had a dream last week about one of my first capstone patients. The one who asked me if I knew what I was doing.

Come to find out today that she passed away…last week.

It hit me. Hard.

Maybe I was so affected by it precisely because I thought I could “handle it”. Maybe part of “handling it” is actually letting myself grieve. I’ve been looking ahead to a career in pediatric end-of-life care for so long that when people asked, “Won’t that break your heart?” and I answered “Probably,” I never stopped to think about how that would actually feel.

She was at home when it happened. I hadn’t seen her in over a month. But she was apparently still in my heart and on my mind until the day she died, and beyond.

It sucks. But if I didn’t feel it profoundly, perhaps I shouldn’t be doing this work.

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