Asphyxiated by the device
meant to grant you life
you pleaded to be released.
through your veins
fighting to give you strength-
they only imprisoned you.
aware of the
commotion about you.
through it all
your eyes were
locked onto mine.
“Help me let go” was your plea.
You grabbed my hand
shook your head
as if you knew this act
had been playing
As if someone had
interrupted your journey
toward the place
you were meant to go.
So we released you.
Withdrew your tube
diminished your drips.
Severed the chains that bound you.
We comforted you.
toward your children.
Through a surge of strength
you assured them
it would be okay-
that through your going on
they would go on.
Then you turned back to me.
of your last moments
you entrusted them to me.
You held my hand
held my gaze.
“Thank you,” was what you said.
And then you took your last breath.
And let us go.
• • •
This patient has been in my heart lately. This post is a re-sharing of an account of our last encounter. A gentle reminder to treasure each moment given.
• • •
The Background Story
Continue reading “To Let Go.”
Once when I was on a specialized heart failure service, I took care of a teenage boy. He had a form of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (a weak, enlarged heart), and he had a huge heart…in more ways than one.
He loved baseball, pumpkin pie, and horses. His family owned a farm, so before he got sick, he would often go horseback riding. He also loved to draw.
We—a team of five physicians—took care of him for a month while he was waiting for a heart transplant. He liked us. We liked him. So he drew us as well.
I thought he was clever. But he thought I was even more so. All because he liked my joke:
“What do you call a cow with no legs?”
That was it. He was just a great kid, trying his best to live the life given to him.
It used to be, that at the end of our visits, we would both say to each other, “Ground beef!” with a wink and a huge smile. It perplexed the other physicians, but we knew exactly what we were talking about.
It was just a silly joke. But for the two of us, it somehow meant something more.
I found out recently that he passed away. And today I found the drawing he gave me. And I wept.
So here’s to you, dear buddy…
Ground beef 😉
To the friends we have recently lost…we will miss you.
Sending hugs over the Bridge,
Samantha & Puppydoc
Cheer that blossomed within our hearts,
stirred by your presence at each day’s start,
yearns to wilt when you depart.
But our song will sing again, tomorrow.
The smiles that pierced through saddened guise,
the rays which conquered thundered skies,
they ache to dim neath heaven’s cries.
But the sun will rise again, tomorrow.
For many years our lives you blessed,
but the hour has come for you to rest,
to soar upon hills on golden crest.
So have no fear, tomorrow.
For on that day, I know we shall meet again.
Dedicated to Pam, in memory of Sammy ♥
Chant of thunder, orchestra of wind,
a breath of heart’s unrest.
Lightening flash in half moon’s glow
unearths laments repressed.
Raindropped streams upon her face
masking moistened eyes,
lead her gently by zephyr’s call
into awaiting skies.
You took your life.
I’m sorry I was only
fifteen feet away.
The doctors were only fifteen feet away.
You didn’t know this.
But I spent days and nights
next door to where you decided
to end your life. Where the doctors
gather, pondering over differentials…
treatments…dissecting our every move
to ensure that we are doing the
right thing for you.
The right thing…
If I had known you,
I would have fought for you.
I know you weren’t my patient;
I know we had never even met.
I am just the person who found
you. Who pronounced you.
You were already cold,
but still, I placed the
your chest and
I didn’t hear anything.
Did you hear me as
I wept for you?
you were suffering.
I’m sorry you felt
as if you had
no way out.
I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.
This is a reflection over an event that happened during residency.
An event I still think about at times.
A lingering guilt.