This week I looked after a patient whose whole life fell to pieces in one life altering moment.
She lost the most important person in her world while he sat next to her in car accident, and struggled to comprehend the reality of it. She nursed a very broken heart as I nursed the superficial brokenness, knowing there was nothing I could do to really make it any better.
I sat with her as she cried, and held her hand tightly as it was the only response I could find to answer the question “Why is life so unfair?”. Because the truth is I don’t know. And I have no explanation to offer.
I’m not sure why bad things happen to good people, and I know that it doesn’t always make sense sometimes which is why we struggle to comprehend how life can suddenly turn us upside down.
A part of me wishes I could illuminate some sort of reason for the heartache in the hope to perhaps make it a little more bearable. Because it would hurt less to believe in some sort of purpose.
I suppose all that I really know is that we have to be thankful for everything we have each and every day. Because we simply just don’t know what will happen next, and you only get to cherish a tangible moment once.
I hate that as a nurse I can’t fix these patients that have wounds so much deeper than what we could ever know, or treat for that matter. And I struggle with that sometimes, because all I’ve ever wanted to do is make it better for them, and yet I am so powerless when death has a hand in it. All the hours of studying and all the training in world can’t bring back what they’ve lost, and I will never be able to bandage a wound so extensive.
There’s no clock to rewind the hands of time, there’s no antedote to the hurt my patient’s experience in circumstances like that and it is most definitely not something I can cover in antiseptic and dress.
As I sit here listening to the rain fall on my roof, I am very aware that this week has been a fresh reminder for me to be thankful. To hold close the ones I love, and always know how lucky I’ve been to have them here with me.
I’ve also come to the realisation that as a nurse, I may not be able to heal the deepest wounds, no. But I can always bring back a little sunlight in a world that has gone terribly storm-like for the patients in my care.
I can smile, I can hold their hands, and I can make a difference in the way I pull them through the darkest of days. I was never trained to fix those kind of injuries, but I was taught to always be kind. So kindness will have to be enough for now, and somehow I’ll figure out a way to carry the most injured out of the storm.