Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When Bad News Becomes Brokenness

On an innocent enough Tuesday morn,
When the strangest experience makes its dawn,
“Abnormal internal structures” in our dear little life,
We learn that she or he is in the state of real strife.
As the doctor stared into our eyes that day,
The moment surreal, emotions not kept at bay,
To hear “there are issues” and to let that sink in,
To our faith in that moment was all we could cling.
Sitting there silently as he broke the news,
Shattered and shaken, no thought of a ruse,
We walked out into the world, forever it’d changed,
Somehow our lives were indelibly rearranged.
There is no preparation for bad news. To bad news there is the experience of being blindsided. Even during the process of a critical medical assessment procedure where nothing can be taken for granted there is still insufficient preparation for what could potentially come.
And it did come for us late that Tuesday morning, on a gloomy winter’s day, with rain filtering down from the heavens. Those doctor’s eyes and the sternness in his resolve and even the humidity in his eyes; the instant of silence spoke like a megaphone of what we were about to hear.
That pressurised burning sensation in the chest, the excruciating mindfulness of the moment, time sort of standing still while the emotions scramble to keep up; the doctor walks into his office and sits down, deliberating, pensive, very considered.
Certain words leave their mark. “Internal structures,” “compression of the lungs,” “herniated diaphragm,” and “enlarged kidneys,” all resound like a resonating gong in the hyperconscious seconds.
Leaving the ultrasound consulting rooms, having been waived of the fee, a meld of shock and watery eyes, the thing I noticed was how comparatively inconsiderate people were. But they didn’t know what we did. It wasn’t their fault. We had such special information. Suddenly we are positioned in the frustrating dilemma that the world is far behind; our friends and relatives have no idea and breaking the news brings all kinds of reactions – sadness, of course, guilt, silence, echoes of support, and even naivety.
Grief ripples into the lives of everyone affected. And we all are... connected and affected.
There is no preparation for grief; no answer for bad news. All we can do is meet the moment as honestly and as strongly as we can. There is integrity in that. There is inspiration for life in that. No matter what occurs, our faith in God carries us through.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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