Strange to have a day of happiness and simultaneous sadness. The day started as would any other; I went to work, my care job, came home during my break to find a massive box had been delivered, inside was a whole array of Valentine gifts from my lovely boyfriend. This cheered me up and I went to visit my grandmother, however, shortly after returning I got a phone-call from the office informing me my favourite patient, Ted, had died after I left his house earlier. This felt somehow like a shock to me, despite having expected it for so long with his deterioration from the brain tumour.
My unexpected reaction made me feel embarrassed, crying briefly on the phone to my manager then excusing myself quickly and apologising, I simply am not the crying sort, certainly not in front of anyone; I despise receiving sympathy or showing any vulnerability really. I’m usually the strong supportive one. I calmed down very quickly, the shock passed, then I felt guilty for feeling sad because I don’t have the right to…he wasn’t my grandfather or relative, and I never cried when any of my other patients died, so does that make me a bad person?
I hope not. My manager says it’s perfectly normal to “let one in”, as in to have a special favourite patient that you can’t help feeling close to, then the shock of them dying prepares you for the rest of your career, a job in which you have to grow accustom to death. And I am accustom, that’s why it surprised me how sad I felt today, but she says it will help prepare me for my life as a doctor and I agree, this job has helped me a lot in preparing and experience.
R.I.P Ted (real name remains anonymous for confidentiality), you were such a strong, intelligent, delightful man, you really touched all the Carer’s hearts and your whole family and wife are so lovely, I know like me you don’t believe in Heaven but you always joked about being my “guardian angel” and I hope that can be somewhat true now.