I reviewed the patient lists at the hospital and made my plans for rounds for the day. I planned to visit several patients on the oncology ward and two patients in the ICU.
As I approached the first patient room in the ICU, I saw a few family members crying outside the door of the room. I froze where I stood in the hallway as I realized that the patient had just expired. I wasn’t sure that I should intrude on the family’s grief and also have unresolved issues concerning my own experience with grief.
A few moments later, the patient’s widow exited the room and saw me standing just a few feet away from her family in the hallway. I didn’t hesitate. I quickly approached her and held her in my arms as she cried. I stroked her hair and whispered words that I hoped would comfort her.
She told me that she was glad to see me. I’m happy that I could be there for her at that time.