In truth, since the events of that time, not a month has gone by that I don’t think on that patient. Days will pass, and sometimes weeks, but not a month.
In time I forget their names and their faces and their stories, but not this one. It stays ever close to me. There are a myriad of them that stay close to me, but I believe that she has stayed the closest.
The way that it ended was horrific. I had really never witnessed anything so horrific. It wasn’t horrific because of blood or guts or fluid, but because of life and time and circumstance. It was horrific because of love.
We cried. The staff. The normally untouchable ICU crew who soldiers in and out every day. We cried. Despite watching death on a weekly or daily basis, we were not prepared for this one. And truthfully, if it happened again, I still wouldn’t be.
There was a desperate sadness in it that I have not quite seen since.
When it was all over, all that was left was a forgotten vase of flowers. I watched it for days. I would eventually take it home. I still occasionally put fresh flowers in it.
The first time we met, we laughed and joked and it was a pleasant time. It was a time full of hope and promise of healing. I often find myself remembering that part too. I’m thankful for that.
I am always reminded this time of year.
I always wonder what happened next, when they went home.
I wonder how they remember the events of that time.