(Further to yesterday’s post) I smashed into grief’s cousin last night and its name is anger. It happened as a friend made an innocent comment about hospice work and we suddenly found ourselves in a nasty argument. I felt angry and defensive. Shortly afterwards, while apologizing, I was able to locate a sense of woundedness near the core of grieving.
Much has been taken away: the easy intimacy with my coworkers, the frequent expressions of love between ourselves, the shared laughter and tears, the sense of belonging to a family … the extraordinary opportunity, day after day, week after week, of being able to ‘do some good’ by offering comfort to patients and their loved-ones. Our intentions, even if we didn’t use the quaint language of 7th Century India, were unequivocal:
For all those ailing in the world
Until their sickness has been healed,
May I myself become for them
The doctor, nurse, the medicine itself.
source: Shantideva. (1997). The way of the Bodhisattva. (Transl. from the Tibetan). Boston: Shambala, pp. 50-51. image: eatourbrains.com