Four stories of people who gave, expecting nothing in return, as their lives were ending.
The care you give merits grace in return. Your writing shows time nd again your patients are real people to you not constellations of symptoms. It makes all the difference.
Very heartfelt narrations. Thank you 🙏
In Christian theology, mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Outstanding reminders, Adam, that we physicians so often have grace showered on us by our patients. I have similar instances myself where patients have shown grace in various and sundry ways. I leave the room thinking, "THAT'S why I am a doctor." Once you do everything in your power to support a patient, and they (out of nowhere) lavish grace upon you with kind words, a gift, a letter, etc...makes me feel so underserving to even be their physician...to have played such a small role in their lives.
Thank you for being the caring doctor that you are.
Those patients were not expecting anything in return but you gave them what they needed with a lot of "grace".
Your patients showed what it is to die with dignity. And you let them.
Nothing more to say here
Parts of this story make me sad because I miss those days when my family physician could and would spend time to connect with me, all of his patients. I wasn't medical record number 8-22865. Medicine has ramped itself up to be a conveyor belt of: In - Assess - Treat - Get 'em out.
I went into hospice nursing because I get to be a nurse again, the kind of nurse I was in school, post graduation, post boards. To stop having the time to talk to my patients, touch them, care for and about them broke my heart. I'm back at the bedside, listening, sitting, teaching, and being present. The only thing I'm really missing now is the curative part of patient care.
I witness more often than not the grace of dying. They get to see all of the cards on the table face up. They have been dealt their hand, but now they can see and choose which cards to play and which cards to discard. Life has stopped dictating time tables, duties, musts. All our lives are spent wondering what life will throw at us tomorrow. Sitting on the edge of our seats just waiting for "it" to happen so we can take measures to cope. Now we know what tomorrow will be and the day after and the day after, and it's all ours.
Pope Francis: Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge nor reason.
Wonderful column, thank you. Grace and the common courage and dignity of everyday people facing their own death. Medicine teaches you humility, never more so than when caring for people at the end of life.
That is heartbreaking and humbling. Life is so fragile, and we should spend more time with our loved ones and enjoying simple pleasures and delights as much as we can.
I read this beautiful piece expecting a blessing from you and it was just that. I went back and listened because I’ve been following you for years and now I was able to hear what your voice sounded like. I now know you a bit better. The hope and humor, the insight and humility, the beauty you find in the muck of the life you choose in Medicine is an affirmation that our humanity is something above and behind the least of us. We all become the least of us in those moments when we face the end of our time here and having a gentle guide who has walked alongside others in this place is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
This is a beautiful reminder to slow down, enjoy life, and appreciate all the people we are blessed to know.
Yes. There is a reason drug companies don’t do research on 80 year olds.
I am just so touched reading this "Grace" filled writing- Specializing in The Arc of Life-another way said, families and individuals in someway gripped by a sense of crisis related to mortality come to my door- the backdrop too often is the promise of medicine. The beauty of your (Adam) simple, kind attention coupled with expertise, honors the human spirit. How I wish this could be taught in medical school and modeled thru out society. Thank you!
Angels among us, even (or especially?) unto death.
(Your insight makes me think you are one, too!)
This reminded me of what it is to be a doctor. So forgotten and difficult nowadays.
Although I don't directly deal with death, as a PT who owns her own practice, we get to k ow our patients intimately having 45 minutes or more to do so a couple of times a week for weeks in end. At certain points I wish someone hadn't told me I wasn't smart enough for med school (I believed them). And most days I am grateful I am in my field developing deep connection. I have seen patients whose grandkids are now becoming doctors! And I k ow the grand kids names and hear about the great grand kids soon to come. These stories of how much we get from giving our care and expertise, and ourselves, remind me why I am in healthcare. Thank you for such wonderful vignettes to tap into the soul of healthcare before I head to work. God bless you and your human side of your calling.
Excellent way to start my Friday. This is beautiful
Thanks Adam for sharing these moving experiences.