I’d like to share the ache inside my heart. I work on a hospital ward. I haven’t been here long, just over a year. I’m usually very busy and my work is mostly computer based, so I don’t have much patient interaction. But every now and then, a patient will catch my eye. Their circumstances will touch something within me. Their eyes will reach out to me as I pass them. And maybe we’ll have a conversation that stops my thoughts and suspends time for a while.
Today a patient left that was one of those that stood out. His eyes were the biggest part about him. I remember walking onto the ward one morning when he was having his first breakfast. The sight of him and his eyes stopped me in my tracks, and I went over to greet him. His eyes were so full of love, surrender, gratitude. I couldn’t speak, only look at him as he was being fed. He had a way of drawing out the purest love from every staff member, with his eyes. I saw everyone turn into angels once they were in his presence.
One of the best moments was when he managed to hug his wife. She was jumping up and down with happiness after it happened. I witnessed the whole thing and just wanted to cry. It was a huge step for them both. People are just beautiful. Love is beautiful.
I feel heavy now as the future for them holds so much heartache. This man has a disease that will slowly debilitate him further and terminate his life much faster. His wife can only watch and savour each precious moment that she can have, before the later stages are reached. It is likely that if he is admitted to us again, it will be for end of life care. The joyous moments will turn into sadness. We will be the ones hugging his wife. Then she will finally leave alone, without her husband coming home for Christmas.
I’m not meaning to depress anyone. This is the raw truth of working in a hospital. It is really hard and as workers we inevitably leave every day carrying someone within our hearts and minds. We go home knowing that life on the ward never stops. The next morning we will face the aftermath of what we left behind the night before. We can never truly turn it off.
When it comes to work, I’ve never picked the easy road. I’ve never chased money. I pick things that all change me. Some nights, as I stare at the wall allowing my heart to break apart again, I wish I’d made different choices.
I also hope that if my heart breaks enough times, maybe it’ll never close, and I’ll finally understand what it really means to have an open heart <3