We never met the social butterfly of the workplace who made an effort to make everyone feel welcome and included. The young lady who made everyone at work laugh. The person who befriended everyone and even their partners.
Life can be too unfair for some people. A room full of flowers, teddy bears and heartfelt messages. The love in the room was palpable. The care they provided to our patient and to each other was beautiful.
We only met her when she was critically unwell. When the illness and medication side effects had made it too hard for her to be fully herself. In so much pain that she couldn’t do the things she wanted to. Her body too distressed, making everything a struggle. Moving around the room became exhausting for her.
By the time she came to stay with us the talented artist was too fatigued to produce any artwork. The music fan with no favourite genre lacked energy to listen to her favourite songs. Not enough breath to sing along with.
Cancer can be a cruel illness that takes too much away. Potential snuffed out with too much finality. Opportunities taken away much too early. She never had a chance to grow old. She never had a chance to explore the world. Taken away in her prime, she has missed out on too much.
Some cases are just so much sadder than others. We have to look after ourselves just that little bit more. We have to be proactive in looking out for each other even more. The team looks after people well but we need to look after each other as well.
We can hardly imagine what it feels like for the parents to lose their daughter. For the siblings to lose a sister. For the grandparents to lose a grandchild. We try to understand but we don’t really know what it feels like. Taken away too soon. Our patient died and a butterfly was affixed to the door of her room.