Wednesday, February 15, 2006

When Things Fall Apart

Apologies to Pema Chodron for today's title, but it could not be more accurate for what I'm witnessing these last few days. Aside from the patient described in my prior entry, there's the other gentleman with an invasive cancer wherein things only seem to get worse. Then there's the woman who has declined suddenly into an acute dementia-like process that we just can't pin down. Add to that one of my favorite patients who seems to have fallen back into substance abuse, her kids not in school, the school reporting her to the authorities, meds not taken, responsibilities shirked. All of these lives virtually imploding before my eyes.

As I have detailed before, I am a witness to suffering, and I try to keep that suffering from bleeding into my own personal life. It's enough to carry the burden all day, but when it follows one home like a ball and chain, that's problematic. My level of exhaustion tonight is fierce and I struggle to focus enough to write these words.

My true wish is for all beings to be free from suffering. And that includes myself.

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