poetry; medicine in the arts; frail elderly; widowhood; physician-patient relations; attitude to death; compassion




Personally driven by compassion in hospital medicine, I can’t help but pen down certain emotions we experience as caregivers. It feels too selfish to not share some of those emotions, as profound as they are, though we seldom are aware that such feelings exist, even as they become palpable during adverse outcomes. Most of the time, thankfully the sick patients we encounter, recover and are discharged home. There are smiles of relief and gratitude to our profession as healers. But at times, with certain incurable conditions, we only can treat and try our best as doctors. There are tears, broken hearts, feelings of dread towards an approaching, certain end that we bitterly fight against, but lose. Commiserating with a patient in pain and with their loved ones is natural as a physician. And in this work, I share one of those unfortunate moments.

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