Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Come Together

In the wake of the tragic events from Monday leaving many suffering, mourning losses and grieving lives, I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of my co-workers. Her death was unrelated to the events in Boston, but equally as heartbreaking.  As a nurse, there is a mental, emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual connection with people.  Our business is people in crisis. We are the helpers, the healers, and the hand holders.  Last night my long overnight shift began with the discovery of this sad news in the midst of the recurring images of Boston's explosions.  Tragedy comes in many forms and it is relentless, the only constancy in life is the unexpected. My thoughts and feelings are filled with overwhelming empathy for the families touched by the senseless violence incurred at a moment that was supposed to be filled with triumph and joy.
In talking with the nurses that worked beside this beautiful woman for almost thirty years, I realized she was their sister, friend, and extended family away from home.  I am grateful for the long nights spent discussing the challenges of motherhood and how to cope with parenting and work balance.  I valued her wisdom and experiences and am honored she took the time to get to know me.  We shared tough decisions at the bedside caring for the critically ill and she taught me new ways to look at outcomes and goals of care. She was an exceptional nurse, an earth angel guarding over her patients, filled with love and protection for her family. In many work places there is a board of news to keep communication open, informational posts next to obituaries and birth announcements. Birth and death and birth and death, it is as constant as the breath.  People move into this world and people move out of this world.  We carry their memory in our hearts and minds. We carry our children, holding them tightly.

As my co-workers came into work this morning, I was dreading disclosing the sad news to them.  There were hugs, tears, confusion, distress and remembrances, but like every nurse we take a deep breath, redirect our energy and focus on the task at hand.  We are caregivers, we are nurses, we are strong. As we move forward, my friends and family have encouraged me to concentrate on those who help, support and remain unyielding to fear.  Inspiring generosity, giving protection to other living beings, helping others to be safe, and practicing respect for the preciousness of life.  We are surrounded by good people, those moving towards the fire, the images on the news coming out now of local heroes uplifts the human spirit. It is a reminder that we are one, struggling through the complexity of life together.  As a nurse, I am grateful to work alongside such compassionate, knowledgable and kind people.  I am proud to be a part of the helpers and to serve people in any way I can.

There are studies that show that those who are happiest are not wealthy, they are the ones with strong, emotional connections to others.  Communities in the Eastern part of the world teach generosity to their children, to give something of themselves everyday.  A smile, a hug, time to listen, to notice, to play, to sing, to enjoy simple acts of friendliness towards one another.  In the Western world, we tend to ask our children what they learned in a day, the Eastern world asks their children what they gave.  In an effort to connect and inspire generosity we need to live as one, wrap our arms around the world and show love. Remember the goodness, our shared wish to be happy. Giving to another is a way to give to yourself, for we are all one interconnected whole.

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