Have you ever been in a situation where you had to give very bad news to someone?
I think of the Doctor’s who so many times have had to give their patients devastating news and I wonder how they do it. I could never be a surgeon, and have to look into someone’s eyes and tell them that their loved one didn’t make it!
These thoughts have gone through my mind before, but especially these last couple days. Yesterday marked 35 years since Nelson, my brother, died. 35 years since we received the phone call that forever changed our lives.
The phone call was devastating for us to receive but yesterday I couldn’t help but think about the one who had to make the phone call. The one who had to call my Dad and tell him that my brother had collapsed with a massive heart attack and died.
My brother was working at Goshen College. He had graduated from it and been hired on to work in the Communications Department. Over the years that my brother was in college my parents and the President of the college had developed a friendship.
I think of the shock and sadness he must of had when he first heard the news about my brother, and then of the dread that filled him knowing he had to call my Dad. I can’t imagine having to be the bearer of news that I knew was going to devastate not only my friend, but their whole family.
I think about the little time that passed between when I answered the phone and he asked for my Dad. How he probably was wishing he could hang up as he was waiting for my Dad to come to the phone.
My thoughts also went to Nelson’s friends who were with him when he died. The ones who saw him collapse on the field. I can’t imagine their emotions. One minute you are playing a fun game of soccer with your friend and the next minute you are performing CPR on him!
The EMT’s that were called to the scene, my brother worked as a EMT as well, so the guys called to the scene knew him. How agonizing for them to realize that this time they knew the person whose life they were fighting for!
My purpose of writing was not be morbid, for it is so sad, but its real! Its real emotions that so many people went through on May 1st, besides just my family.
So often we can be so caught up in how an experience affects us and we can forget all the others that were affected in various ways. From the friend who first started the CPR to the Dr. who had to make the call to tell them to stop, that nothing more could be done.
How did that Doctor feel when he went home that night. Knowing that a young man’s life had ended. No matter how many times a Doctor has to make that call, it still has to be rough, unless you develop a heart of stone. If he had children, did he hug them a little tighter that night?
My thoughts went to Nelson’s friends who had to go back to the apartment they shared together and see his stuff all around. See all the reminders of him knowing that he would never step through that door again. Having to look into the sad eyes of my brother’s dog, as they cuddled him and their tears fell on his fur.
Seize the day! Cherish the Moments and remember how each day is a gift from God, how are you going to unwrap it?