I’m off to a lovely, quiet start today, especially now that the chaos of the school run has passed. Don’t take that wrong, I actually often enjoy the school run- how many others out there are with me?
Once the initial stress of getting everyone out the door with everything they need is over I enjoy the time I have to listen, both to what they tell me and to what they tell each other, and to inevitably (inwardly) groan over their music requests.
Sometimes the music requests aren’t so cringe-worthy, however; and sometimes, even if they are cringey I get a big kick out of hearing them sing in the car. That is always my absolute favorite.
I had an unexpected day off yesterday, I went into work and had no patients. I had thought I’d have at least one, but she passed away only an hour before I arrived. I visited her anyway, to say goodbye and offer love and honor the beauty of her passing. Her countenance was peaceful and spoke of love.
I consider it a rare honor to see death and the dead the way that I do. Sometimes I feel so incredibly humbled by what their experiences teach me. I see faces loved and faces of loneliness, I see faces whose suffering is numbed by modern medicine and faces that never could quite find comfort- not for lack of care, but because sometimes modern medicine only goes so far, and there are things drugs can’t address.
I find myself thinking often about how we die, how we want to die, how we treat our dying, and how we treat our dead.
The gift of my work makes the good times, and even the not-so-good times, with my children even more poignant.
This morning I’ll enjoy my rich, black cup of coffee with gratitude for the quiet that will later be filled with (sometimes overwhelming) the noises of life, love, and of family.