What you might not know about your family doctor is that you, as our patients, become weaved into the essence of our daily work and home life.
Your stories and worries, and happiness and fears, become what our life’s work purpose is about.
We wish well for you. And when you fall, we hope we provide you the help to get back up yourself. Or that we can carry you until you make it on your own.
At night while making dinner (microwave…let’s keep this real), as we glance at our son smiling across the room, we might in that moment think about your son too. How he shines in a different way, how his struggles are some I see in my own home. And how I hope, in the end he will find his way again.
When my husband flips me the bird and then smiles in a naughty way, your grandmother’s eyes play before mine. Her saucy saucy ways. The way she swears ’cause she knows it will bring out a reaction in me. And because mostly, she doesn’t get those reactions anymore. I see her loneliness in the eyes of my son, as he navigates life being a teen.
So in each story you give us. Each secret we keep for you. Each plan we build together to keep you happy and well and safe, there is the heaviness of impending failure. What if we let you down, what if treatments don’t work. What if there’s nothing left to do. What if you don’t choose the path I would for you?
And this weaved narrative from all of these souls we see becomes like a blanket we carry. Working toward keeping us all warm and well sheltered. But often so so heavy to carry.
And when you pass. We feel thankful that every lesson you shared, every time you made us a better practitioner, and every secret you gave us to hold, remains in ourselves to gift on through care to the next patient.
You live on in many people when you pass.
To my patients, I am one of them. Thank you for trusting me with your body and mind.
To the passing of someone I was growing to know. I hope you soar through your next journey.
By Dr Jessica Mitchell
Family Physician, Nova Scotia