I’m sitting here at my desk at 6:30 on a Wednesday evening feeling depleted. I’m listening to Beethoven softly on the speakers and from the apartment above me I can hear the strum of my neighbor’s guitar. It’s snowing softly outside and all I want to do is crawl into bed.
I’ve been crying a bit this afternoon. I’m worried that I’m not good at my job. Today was the third day in which I spent several hours sitting with one of our dying patients. And each time I’ve done this it’s been such an incredible experience — I’ve listened to their stories and held their hands and talked about life and death with them — and when I’m there in the moment it feels wonderful.
But when I leave and walk across some snowy driveway to Greg’s little green Honda and scrape the snow off the windshield and get behind the wheel for my solitary drive home, I just feel depleted. I feel drained and a little sad and a little overwhelmed by life.
I’m worried that maybe I’m not cut out for this. Hearing these people tell me how glad they are that I came by, how they can’t believe how much they talked, and how they hope that I can come back soon, breaks my heart just as much as it fills it up.
I don’t have a lot left when I leave. I guess I’m just really in the process of figuring out how to contain these experiences. Each time I have one I spiral into such deep philosophical thoughts about what we’re all doing here and what happens when we die and how meaningful humans relationships can be and I don’t know how to not think about these things.
I’m looking forward to my beautiful new home to go home to in a month. I feel like it’s going to be a very healing experience to live there. Greg and I are so excited about it. We can hardly believe we’re going to live there. It’s such a peaceful place, such a writer’s home, such a home. And that it’s on a river with ducks and trees and frogs and little bobbing boats….
Off to take a bath shortly. Tomorrow is the 11 year anniversary of my mother’s death.
It’s only Wednesday and it’s already been a big week.