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When the String is Cut

One of my colleagues recently died.

When I started at my current hospital, she was my main preceptor.  She was a stickler for getting things done correctly – no shortcuts.  When I would come across a patient or apparatus that I was unfamiliar with, all I wanted was for her to tell me what to do or show me how to operate it, but every time she insisted on having me look it up.

I came to appreciate the wisdom in that.

We worked together for several years.  She eventually went to a different department, I started working per diem, and we didn’t see each other much anymore.  But we’d run into each other here and there over the years.

She was very kind.  She wasn’t the type that was into gossip, but she did always want to know what was going on with you.

I saw her about a week before she died.  Everyone knew her time was short, including her.  Yet when you walked into the room, her face would light up and you’d get the impression that she was thinking, “Ah, just the person I was hoping to see.”  She handled the whole thing so much more gracefully than the rest of us.

I was thinking last night about how she simply isn’t in the world anymore.  And how weird that is.  I feel like we are all connected by invisible strings to the people we know, and when one string is cut, even the thinnest one, it throws you off balance.

I’m feeling a bit off-kilter for sure.

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I like how you say you “feel like we are all connected by an invisible string”. I feel the same way. I remember years ago a girl I played softball with died tragically in a car accident. I got the the weirdest feeling from it…it was the knowing that I would never see her again, I wouldn’t be out on the field with her, she wouldn’t be going to the wind up dance. Yes it was a strange feeling indeed. Since that time I have experienced many personal losses, and my emotions have been all over the board. I recently found out that a very close family friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I am sick with this news and not sure how I am going to handle it. The woman has been like a second mother to me since my mother passed, she has kept the link/string together with our families.

Yes people touch our lives in so many ways. I guess we just have to consider ourselves lucky that we have had the opportunity to know them if only for a short time.

That was beautifully written! I cant even begin to imagine what youre feeling, but I do know it is important to be thankful for the time you had with her :) It seems like youre definitely doing that!

“I feel like we are all connected by invisible strings to the people we know, and when one string is cut, even the thinnest one, it throws you off balance.”

Agree. I remember one of the quotes from the book written by Mitch Albom, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven;” ‘there are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.’ Maybe that’s why we felt lonely in funerals and when people we know happened to die. There is some loss feelings in us.

Thanks for sharing,

It’s amazing how some people can impact our lives. Thanks for sharing. I know that must have been hard for you to go through!

This is a very powerful post. I am a new nurse rounding out my first year on the floor. I’ve thought a lot about the effects my patients have had on me lately but this makes me realize there are others that impact us just as much (if not more). Thanks for sharing.

You have my sympathy for the loss of your friend, thank you for sharing the story and the light is offers.

I am so sorry for her loss. But her message was clear. Life cannot be about shortcuts. You do what you are suppose to do down to the detail. My her soul rest in peace

There are people who give us a feeling of hope every time we see them. I am sorry about your friend am sure you had an attachment with her but one thing you should hold on to is that she left you to be the shinning stars upon others. Thank you for sharing this it must have been hard for you to open up and talk about someone dear to you with courage.

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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