Monthly Archives: December 2010

Grief

If the computer screen were a piece of paper, this post would be full of words crossed out and half-written sentences.

I’m not one to memorialise a person electronically. Something that has become clear to me recently is that when you die, everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone wants you to be remembered the way they remember you. Those little pieces of yourself, fragments you left with everyone you met, those memories, thoughts, arguments, laughter, a lifetime of experiences and feelings – that’s what you leave behind. People will hold on to those fragments as if to keep you alive. You are recreated in a kaleidoscope of other people’s memories.

It’s a month to the day since my last post. While I was writing it, a friend was busy dying.

This is not a eulogy. I don’t want you to imagine him the way I remember him. I don’t want to laud his achievements or camouflage his flaws. I don’t want to talk about potential.

Some stars burn so, so brightly.

It doesn’t matter how we knew him, or how we remember him, or if we knew him at all. What matters is what we learn and how we grow.

As future doctors, we need to find our peace with death, or it will haunt us all our days.

Nothing worth doing is easy: Learn to stand and look grief in the eye.

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