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I don't know if I'm just super sensitive now, or if I would still be as upset as I am.
I just got off the phone (at work) with a lady from one of our clinics. She was asking if a patient's family was staying here with them, since she needed to have them fill out end of life forms. She kept talking about "when the child dies," as if it was no big deal. I was appauled at how casual she was - as though it didn't phaze her at all that this family was going to lose their little one.
I know that this is her job, she deals with death all the time. But quite frankly, so do I and it still affects me. I was trying to think back, before we found out that we were going to lose Noah, and I just don't know how I would have taken the phone call back then. Would I have been just as upset, or am I just touchy now that I've experienced such pain?
Of course that now makes me wonder, what have I said or done in the past, that could have upset somebody else? It's amazing to think of all the comments made out of ignorance, and how much pain - true gut wrenching pain - it can cause without intent.
Special thanks to AlexAiden Mommy for my precious siggy
I think she should be slapped, referring so coldly to a child's imminent passing is horrid to hear, whether you have experienced a loss or not. Yes, Noah's passing is very, very fresh for you, but my oldest has been an angel for 13 years and I get very offended and upset at things like this! She could have been way more tactful and respectful in that discussion.
I think that having experienced the death of a child definitely leaves me more sensitive to what people say and also more aware of my own comments. If you haven't been touched by it, it's easy to make it sound casual I think. And some people do sound more casual about death when they work with it everyday. I remember when I was getting ready to birth Eli (he had passed away in utero a few days earlier), the high risk specialist that did my amnio and talked to me about what they had seen in the ultrasound seemed very cold to me. I figured it was because she saw this everyday but I was very offended by her attitude. Then, when I got pregnant again and had to see her a lot over the next 9 months, I got to know her and saw that she really did care a lot and was a wonderful woman, but I would have never known that after our first meeting because of how she came across.
People just don't get it if they haven't been there.
I'm with the lady on the phone actually. Medical and psychological professionals (like me and my sister) have to clinicalize death and tragedy to function. If my sister focused on the tragedy of poor prenatal diagnosis all of the time, or I focused on the heartbreak of child abuse and neglect all day, we'd burn out and need therapy.
The critical thing is, you don't clinicalize with the families. My sister may have to talk about babies with heartbreaking deformities in very cold terms with colleagues, but at the end of the day she cries with her patients. This is especially the case even though, through the loss of her nephew (she was there when I delivered him) and what happened with Grant's co-triplets, she is very sensitive about the subject. Were it not for the clinical language, everyday she would live through holding Ethan in her arms and saying goodbye.