Loss, Grief, and Medicine
This past week, my family had a very unexpected death. It is amazing how much difference two hours can make. After going through many emotions, sleepless nights, and anger, I realize that there is so much to be appreciative of, and to grieve.
There is a relationship to grieve. While the soul is gone from the body, it is the presence of the person, the consciousness, that I mourn.
I miss the humor.
I miss the advice.
I miss the laugh.
I miss watching the kids with the individual.
After crying initially, I have gone through periods of irritability, numbness, and awareness of it all.
We, as physicians, grieve daily. We grieve our patients. We grieve losing colleagues to suicide. We grieve scope creep. We grieve the loss of the art of medicine with forces outside of the exam room telling us how to practice [directly and indirectly]— insurance companies, etc.
The reason I started this podcast was to grieve the death of fellow physician, Dr. Peg Bicker, MD. I had no idea the statistics for physician suicide or burnout. I had questions. Again, I miss the humor. I miss the advice. I miss the laugh. I miss not being able to watch the kids with Peg.