When You Suffer Their Loss

In the process of caring for patients and their families, we form a connection with them. If one of them succumbs to illness or tragedy, we feel the pain of their loss. When death takes a child, the impact is even greater.

Every day, terrible tragedies occur throughout the world, but because they happen outside our safe zone, we are not significantly affected. We are able to maintain the rhythm of our existence and lifestyle.

However, when a tragedy occurs within our space—in our city, at our workplace, in our local neighborhood or circle of friends—we feel the pain deeply. Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, these events impact us emotionally, mentally and physically. Pretending everything is OK will not dismiss the effect. Caring is sometimes very painful.

Whenever a tragedy occurs in your space, acknowledge the loss. It’s important to have a colleague, friend or family member with whom you feel safe to share your thoughts, feelings, doubts and fears. Perhaps you may need to find a therapist to help you sort through your feelings. Physical exercise is a great release for anxiety and emotion, as is journaling. Reach out to your faith community, and lean on the stretch of your God.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

April 26, 2007