Thankfully it doesn’t happen often.
But, for some reason it is the mother in me that seems to ache the worst.
Yesterday, a patient of mine told me that her 28 year old son just died unexpectedly in his home. He had been getting ready for work but was found by his girlfriend unresponsive. The coroner concluded that he had a heart condition. As BL sat in front of me, tears streaming down her face, all I could picture was my beautiful, sweet, innocent Sam. I couldn’t even imagine taking a breath in a world where he didn’t exist. Yet, there she was, swallowed up by her grief. Grief so real it hurt my chest to look at her. But, she was there in my office, fully dressed, two shoes on her feet..the tell tale mascara she carefully applied now running a marathon down her cheeks. How did she even think about mascara? How did she put her clothes on? How did she remember to breathe? She came to me for comfort and instead I was sobbing with her.
Unbelievably it was the second time this month that I found myself clutching a grieving mother. A few weeks ago it was MM, a bright vibrant woman who’s nineteen year old son died 6 months ago in his dorm room. She keeps working and traveling and doing. She cries and screams and goes to the edge of a very tall cliff. Then she takes a step back and breathes.
Today when that comforting school bus rumble broke through my midday solitude and the clatter of viola and back pack and half eaten lunch made my heart leap with excitement, guess what I did?
I sat up, wiped my face and, seemingly for the first time all day, I breathed.