Last week, three of our patients died. Two deaths were not "surprises" as both patients had terminal cancer. The other patient committed suicide so yes, his death was unexpected for everyone. As nurses, we know that death is part of life and depending on our nursing careers, we are often well acquainted with losing a patient. But truth be told, the suicide really threw alot of us into a tailspin.
A bunch of us got together after work to hang out, have a drink, and talk about how we were feeling. We talked about our work with the patient, about his family, including his children, and we mused about his world. How did he feel that he would take his own life? We talked about other recent suicides and other overdoses that resulted in death. So very sad.
We decided, like many others before us, that there is way too much sadness and pain in the world. But we also noted that even though pain and sadness is present in every life, there are lots of people wanting to help. There are lots of people who really do care. Like us.
While we grieve for the patients who died last week, we also remember all of our patients who have died and for the families they left behind. And we continue to work with and for the patients who need our help in their healthcare journey. Because we care.