Facing End of Life

Friday, June 29, 2018
I've been working several shifts in a row, and end-of-life has been on my mind.  You see, I observe strength and courage in my patients every day.  Some are facing their mortality, yet many do not have fear.  I imagine that if I am in a position to face my own mortality one day that I will feel scared.  I remember how it felt the first time I faced it.  I was 21 and my friend Josh Arnold was killed in a tragic, fiery car accident after his best friend fell asleep at the wheel.  It was the first time I felt a sense of my own mortality, because one of my friends had faced theirs.  It was hard to comprehend how one moment he was here with us and the next moment he was gone. 

My patients are my greatest teachers--one thing I've learned from them is what it means to face one's mortality with courage and grace.  We all have hopes for our lives, those goals we hope to accomplish before we leave this Earth.  When life is cut short, these goals change into something more attainable for the short time we have left, but the goals to achieve something meaningful remain nonetheless.  My patients inspire me to live a life with less fear, and to hold on to those parts of life that make it all worth it, letting the rest of it go.   


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