The coming-home-after-work story is the same for so many of us.
The door closes. Lights are turned on. Wallet and keys on the kitchen bench. Maybe there’s a glass of wine poured. You’re on autopilot: dinner and shower and bed. Thinking how long it’s been since morning and what a day it was. Maybe you didn’t-quite-meet a deadline. Maybe your boss was crunching numbers and looking at you for answers. Maybe you had a difficult client who keeps asking you to “flesh out” an already-fleshed-out idea and you have no idea how you’re going to show up tomorrow.
Your day was hard enough, and you never had someone else’s life in your hand.
For others – nurses, doctors, fire fighters, paramedics – it’s the same routine. Except for some days. When they’ve lost someone. Or delivered bad news. Or when they’ve had to tell the parents of an 18-year-old car crash victim that their daughter did not make it. Then these days are infinitely more difficult.
One woman, a nurse, has shared her coming-home-after-work story for the most beautiful reason.
Not for applause or recognition. But as an explanation. Showing that, behind the gloved hands and the well-rehearsed masks of compassion-but-no-real-connection from nurses and doctors in hospitals, there is a human who feels the death of your daughter or your son or your mother or your brother just as piercingly as you. They just can’t show it.
The seven stages of grief. Post continues below.
It was the day she told the 18-year-old’s parents about their daughter’s death.
“You fall to the nasty hospital floor, not caring for the bacteria that may be there. Your world just shattered. You are shattered. And I stand there with a grim face, my hands clasped in front of me. You clutch each other. You scream. You cry,” a nurse wrote on Reddit in An open letter to the parents who I told that their daughter was dead this morning.
“I don’t change facial expression. I offer any help that I can. You decline and cling to each other harder. I stand awkwardly beside you. I pass you Kleenex. A glass of water.”
“What you don’t know is that I, too, am shattered.”
She wrote about bringing her work home with her.
“I cry the whole way home. I looked up your daughter on Facebook. She was beautiful. Just graduated high school,” the letter reads. “She had a whole life and world ahead of her. It isn’t fair. I beat my steering wheel and rage when I get home and park. I throw my nursing bag across the kitchen. I drop to the floor, like you, and cry.”