Saturday, November 06, 2004

Why be Normal?

I feel like I unintentionally hit a nerve with my last post. I think I had been a little out of my groove when I wrote that piece. I was working as charge nurse, so I hadn't been working with that patient nor his brother as directly as if I had been his bedside nurse. So perhaps that left me feeling disconnected from the experience and thus more out of touch. (I also had on the charge nurse hat of "Will this family member sue for emotional trauma if we let him go to the morgue?") I hate that I sound so defensive. But the responses I got to that posting were simultaneously heart-warming and shaming. Shaming in that I did not mean to come across as judging that patient's brother for his decision to escort his brother to the morgue. (No, Cori, you are definitely not a freak nor was this family member one). I was, however, sincerely surprised at his request. It had never occurred to me before that anyone would want to go to the morgue. Perhaps that comes from the perspective of working with co-workers (nurses and nursing assistants) many of whom are very uncomfortable in the morgue. I think my first time there, I was less comfortable than I am now, though now my feelings are a little different. And imagining that same discomfort complicated by the feelings of loss for my loved one seemed unbearable to me. But it's true. That is my own personal feelings, not this family members, though I think I acknowledged that in the end of the posting.

It was heart-warming that so many of you seem to understand the brother's perspective. And I feel enlightened by your responses. Part of why I put that posting out there was in the hopes that someone would help me understand his perspective better. And you all have certainly stepped up to the plate. Thanks so much, again, to all of you for sharing.

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