In medicine we deal with the loss of life everyday. Sometimes its accidental, sometimes medical, but maybe worst it’s self inflicted.
Recently, one morning I came into the office and I received a call from the local medical examiner. I knew this wasn’t going to be good. She wanted to get some background medical history on a patient we had known who apparently committed suicide. Ironically, there was no history of depression or any signs of such catastrophic thinking. But sure enough it was him; a long standing patient who was always polite, considerate and respectful to all of us. We were all shocked and saddened by the news.
What prompted me to write this though was a comment that Brooke made when I shared with her the sad news. She responded immediately with how sad it was that all he had talked about for the past few years was taking his early retirement and getting ready to then ‘live his life’. How strange, he did indeed retire but then perhaps felt so alone that he took his own life. What a tragic irony.
Two things came to mind. First, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Today is the day you have to live, not yesterday and not tomorrow. Second, no matter how bad your current situation seems (bad relationship, difficult work, poor finances) take a moment and celebrate your life, or at least the fact that you’re alive. Realizing this allows for the opportunity to eventually get it right. Don’t cut that time short. As long as you’re breathing, there is hope, there is a way, even if you cannot see it in the moment. Trust me, trust someone, it is there. Likewise, whether you see it or not, someone, somewhere cares! We did.
So whatever you have going on today, and everyday for that matter, take a breath and celebrate being alive. As George Burns, the comedian and actor who lived to around 100 years old once said: “Everyday I wake up, open my eyes and place my feet on the floor, I think it’s going to be a good day.”
If you’re really in a bad way, please tell someone. Believe it or not, people do care and there are resources out there to help you.
– Dr. V