Thursday, May 21, 2009

want ads - part two


When it rains, it pours.


Imagine reading your child's suicide note. Imagine how you would feel as they apologized for how they felt they had let you down, apologized for how they wish things could be different, how they wished they were a better, stronger person, told you things would be better now - now that they weren't here anymore to mess things up for you and the rest of the family.


Imagine looking over an itemized list of their belongings, with notes jotted in the margins as to who they would like to receive what. A detailed set of instructions as to what music they want played at their funeral, and, while they're at it, where they would like their ashes scattered. Imagine page after page of details, everything from bank account numbers to internet passwords. All left carefully addressed to you in the sincere belief that they would not be needing any of it anymore.


Now imagine holding all of this in your hand as you stand outside the glass door leading to the room your child is in. Your very much alive child, saved by the unexpected return of a roommate, saved from their hell bent determination to stop the screaming in their own head. Is your child grateful for the reprieve? No. Your child turns to the nurse at their bedside and says quite clearly that this isn't over just yet.


The nurse is chilled by the deadness in their eyes. She looks over at the parent, standing slumped by the door, tries to catch their eye and convey some sort of mom empathy. They look up from the floor and she meets their gaze squarely.


And wishes she had never looked beyond the patient.

18 comments:

ped crossing said...

Oh, RC. Your job makes my job seem easy. I hope there is some kind of silver lining to go along with all of these dark clouds.

Hang in there.

Pamela said...

I sometimes think that a heavy heart is like wet paint.

Maggie May said...

Next time my 120 assorted children start back chatting in the playground, screeching and screaming and winding everybody up....... I will think of this easy job and be grateful! Honest!

softinthehead said...

OMG - no I don't envy you your job at all. That sort of thing would be spinning around in my head for days. Thank goodness you are such a strong person.

Frances said...

I rarely cry when I read blogs.
Last year one of the boys at my daughter's school, the son of a member of staff and boyfriend of one of her classmates, killed himself one night. No-one knew why/knows why. So many people were devastated at the loss and the fact they had not seen any signs and had thought he was happy. That they hadn't helped him.
It can be a hard hard time for kids to negotiate and sometimes the parents are the last to know about the suffering and the first to reap that whirlwind.
It is so awful that we are not able to communicate to these kids how special they are and how valued and how life can really turn out okay after the confusion of this phase. There must be a way to reach out to more of them.
How you must be feeling, I can't imagine, how the mother feels.. O God.
hugs

Rose said...

Man, your tough week makes even my toughest seem like a walk in the park. So sorry. Make sure you take care of yourself, cause this stuff has to leave some damage.

Thumbelina said...

You will always look beyond the patient. That is why you are the nurse you are. A good one. A human one. Not an automaton.

You care. That is what nursing is all about. But caring sometimes hurts. That mom will remember what you said in that look. Believe me, I know she will.

Give yourself some space, a hug. Hug your babies and tell them what you saw and how it must never, never come to that. Never.

(((((hugs)))) again from me. Crying.

Aoj and The Hounds said...

There are no words for that.

{{hugs}}

aims said...

Your help now will be appreciated when this person gets the mental help that is needed. Without you this wouldn't be possible - another useless death has been stopped.

This person will look back some day and remember you and your kindness. They will probably never find you and thank you - but they won't forget you.

I've been there RC. I know.

Let me thank you because I can't find the nurses who helped me.

I thank you for trying your all to keep us from doing something really stupid and really tragic. Yes - it seems really horrible right now - I hate you for saving me because I so wanted out of this pain. I did. But now that I am better - I can see how much it hurt you to help me. I can see how much it hurt my parents that I would try the easy way out of life instead of going for the help I needed. Instead of asking someone - anyone.

Thank you for caring and being so good at your job. I'd be dead without you.

Akelamalu said...

I'll never forget the kindness of the male nurse who looked after my boy when he took an overdose. Thankfully it was a happy ending. Thankyou for your care and compassion m'dear. x

auntiegwen said...

Thank you x as a mother who hopes she never faces that x

Mimi said...

In that situation what you need is someone who looks beyond the patient, and conveys some "mom-empathy".
Well done to you, you are one fantastic nurse, and the people who meet you are the lucky ones.mimi

Skirum said...

Oh my. I have never looked at it that way. How much pain someone must be in to even consider doing that to their family.....

Iota said...

If I ever need the ER, I'm going to get in the car and drive up to your city. The extra few hours in the car would be worth it. Just make sure you're on duty when it happens.

Southern Drawl said...

Goodness, RC, hang in there...

Devon said...

God, that gave me chills. I had an awful fight with my daughter today over some stupid thing and I can see in her mind that it is just another day of not being enough for me... frankly scared the crap out of me!

Note to self, put the trivial in perspective and love more openly!

Thanks again RC, sorry that I am learning so much at your expense.

Kila said...

Wow, I can't imagine. God bless you.

Tiggerlane said...

I have never been able to imagine suicide...and I wish I knew how to keep others from dreaming of it, especially the young.

My hubby used to work in the ER, and hated using the charcoal to save the same victims, over and over. He got to the point where he almost wished they wouldn't make it, just so he wouldn't have to keep on saving someone who didn't want to be saved.