Survivor’s guilt. Death is all around us; the war in Ukraine rages on. Loved ones are lost forever. Grief, despair, loss, it is all too much for words to express the loss of human life.
Colleen. We still grieve our pet. Ray. Is it for the fact that his death was so sudden and instant and unexpected – for Ray? Can we take comfort that he did not suffer? Can platitudes assuage my guilt?
Two for two, I have failed to resuscitate a loved one twice – my Dad, my cat. Guilt?! It was never meant to be. I never had a chance. My Dad died at home in my arms my third year of medical school. I lived with failure to save him, early guilt nearly my entire medical career. And, when I had stopped practicing medicine, I was given another chance, Ray. I failed. Failed. Did failure teach me that I had no chance way back when? Answers don’t come easy. I can only say that knowledge and experience do not help even now. As a physician, I have encountered life and death too often. I know the consoling words. I fear words are inadequate. I keep trying. I will always do so. Even now, I am comforted by your hand, Colleen.