Witnessing

I can walk through the ICU and see people on ventilators. I feel compassion for them as they struggle to breathe alone. No one with them except the brave and courageous health care workers. I can witness their suffering. But they are names and faces I don’t know. The hospital badge allows me to remain professional. To be anything more than a caring professional does more harm than good.
But the last two weeks, COVID has hit home a bit more. I’ve been a witness as two people that I counsel. Two people I care about experienced the deaths of their beloved spouses.
This hits home for me. I’m saddened that they and their families have to experience this profound loss. I’m sad that I can’t hold their hand while they go through this trauma. I cry with them. I know that this is only the tip of the iceberg. More people I know will die.
And I’m angered that this continues to happen five months into this epidemic. That people think that this is a hoax. That there is no leadership. That people think it’s more important to go to gyms,bars and restaurants or Disneyworld. I’m angered that people can’t do the simple things like wearing a mask and washing their hands. I’m angered that more people will die. That more people will bury their loved ones.
I have resigned myself that this will take a long time. I sit with both my anger and sadness. I sit in my powerlessness.
I’m grateful to the communities that I belong to. I’m grateful to the technology that allows me to connect to the beloveds in that community. And as my wonderful CPE supervisor says I witness and be kind.

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