life and loss

most nights i come home from work exhausted with swollen feet, but high on the joy of celebrating the miracle of new life and seeing two people become parents. i am convinced my job is one of the best in the world, even after experiencing the loss of life.

this week i cared for a lady delivering her stillborn twins. i don’t know if i have ever felt my heart break the way it did when she told me her story. i have seen tragedy in one of the poorest countries in the world and experienced loss of people i love, but the sick feeling i carried in my heart and stomach this week far surpassed anything i have ever felt before.

before me was a woman who had worked endlessly for years and years to conceive a child with the man she loved. after miscarriages and failed attempts of IVF, this couple was shocked to hear the news that they would be the parents to twins, only months later to find out one twin had died and then weeks later to find out that the other, who the doctors were trying desperately to save, had died as well. with their hope gone and their grieving just beginning, i cried with this woman we discussed all the unpleasant, but necessary, legal and medical decisions that had to be made after her delivery. i sat on her bed and held her hand as she felt her first contractions of labor.

it would be easier to have a cold heart and distance myself from my patient in a situation such as that, but that would not be loving, caring, or compassionate.  i know my eyes would have been a lot less red at the end of the day. i should feel just as privileged to share the day in the lives of those grieving the loss of life as i am in the lives of those celebrating life. it is an intimate and intense experience in their lives that will not be soon forgotten.

as i laid in bed trying to fall asleep that night, i continued to cry for her and begged the Lord to never let me experience that kind of day again. ever. as i cried and prayed, a feeling of peace washed over me and the Holy Spirit reminded me of the goodness of God and his sovereignty over all things. before i fell asleep, i thanked God for allowing me to meet that woman and for giving me the grace to care for her in a situation far, far, far beyond my understanding. she will not be forgotten.

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One Response to life and loss

  1. Paula says:

    Thankful that woman had you in the room with her, and I know she is too. Love you.

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