Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grace

Cut the horseshit. Cut the sarcasm. Seriousness for one post here. It is not often that I am brought to tears at work anymore, most docs have that beaten out of them in training if not in medical school, but here's one.

I took care of a young person recently who died a few days later. As it turns out this young person knew she was going to die due to a combination of diseases which were congenital (though she lived to early adulthood).

Today, the family came to the ER to thank me. Huh? And they brought me the funeral program, complete with a picture of her in better health, and it contained a poem that she had taken a fancy to years earlier.

She had asked her parents to distribute it upon her death. It is attributed, according to my Google search, to a Mrs. Lyman Hancock. I hope that when my time comes I have the courage to comfort those who will grieve (all three of them) like this young girl did. Corny? Melodramatic? Not this time (and Etotheipi, bite thy tongue sir).

WHEN I'M GONE

When I come to the end
of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can,
That I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.
Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done,
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I've had loads of fun.
Forget that I have stumbled and
blundered,
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought
some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.
Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for one day,
But in summer
Just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,
And come in the evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.

11 comments:

  1. And then we have this job slap us upside the head again as usual..22YO beautiful,soon-to-be nursing student, Tech in my ED off's herself with a nice cocktail of Vecuronium and Succinyl Choline this week..Tears flowed here too.

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  2. Excuse me, my laptop must be dusty.

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  3. Sadly, when I was dying -- nobody said anything. It's not noble to die of anorexia, even if you've had a heart attack and kidney failure. I could have said the same shit. Oh, look, a poem. Don't let me die. But my un-insured ass isn't what they'd want to save. Makes me sad. :(

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  4. hannah,
    all of us are dying. you are not dead. seek help, better yet, help yourself, and quit looking to others or the government to do it for you.

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  5. Thank you 911Doc - I appreciate this more than I can say...

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  6. hannah, the poem is not about not letting them die. Anorexia is self inflicted, and as stated the disease of this young women was congenital, meaning it was there from birth.

    The poem is about her wanting people to celebrate her life, and remember the good times, not mourn her death and mull over the negative.

    She is asking the one thing that I believe we ALL want after we go.

    "And remember only my best."

    Thanks for that, it is a beautiful piece

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  7. Anonymous - what does your post have to do with the poem?

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