Today I spent only part of the day at work.
But I must confess, it felt like so much more.
To hold the hand of someone when they’ve lost the love of their life, to just be there, is one of the most difficult parts of my job.
Sometimes I feel like giving bad news is the worst part. Telling someone they have an expiry date.
We all know we won’t live forever, but having a time on it is so jarring, like a movie ending on a cliffhanger.
We are left feeling cheated, angry. How dare things finish before we had a chance to be ready?
We rail against the fates, against God, against the person who told us.
But somehow, it’s easier to bear when it’s about us.
When it’s a loved one whose time has run out, the devastation can be overwhelming.
Like a ship buffeted by waves, it seems as though the storm will never end. That we will be overwhelmed forever in our loss.
But slowly, over days, months, or years, the storm calms, the waves die down.
While we are still adrift and occasionally faced with a mouth full of water, we can stay above sea level more often than remain below the meniscus of our grief.
Today, the storm raged hard.
I could only offer my hand, and my heart, as a small life raft, and hope that the waves wouldn’t be too painful for too long.