I've not been able to bereave the death of my love and collegue; I'm so busy saving others


“I couldn’t even see her at her funeral. There are so many things I need to process but I don’t have time; I don't have time to bereave my own friends also. We seem to have forgotten that we are humans too,” said Dr Patrick Rodrick, a doctor working in the COVID ward in Kerala. 

Dr Patrick had a team of 4 doctors and 10 nurses under his direct orders. Shyamla, a doctor and Dr Patrick’s colleague had got infected by the virus while treating the patients. Patrick was very fond of Shyamla--a good, sincere worker. She was very mature for her age and during highly emotionally charged moments, she would channelise the team’s emotions and lighten the air. And here he was, working day in and night without even the leisure of time to go for her funeral nor could he even grieve for her.

“It is good actually I think. I don’t have time to think about her. I am usually so overloaded with work and the new patients coming in every single day that I hardly get time to think about her--except when I need her and turn around and then realise she is missing. I know it is my job to heal patients and help them fight the virus, but, ever since Shyamala’s death, every time I see someone die it just reminds me of her. And we are facing multiple dies everyday. 

Her death just reminds me of how incompetent I am. Makes me doubt my practice of all these years and how I let someone I actually loved die in front of me. She died because I couldn’t save her. I thought she’d get through, I believed she will be well but I just didn’t do enough for her, I think. 

The thought that I could’ve saved someone I loved and most importantly someone I worked with has been eating me up. 

These thoughts of death make me feel that I don’t even deserve to be here wearing all this PPE gear and being applauded as a hero. I am not a hero, just a failure. Did I do everything in my power to save her--I don’t know anymore..it is all a big blur for me. People say, think of her in a better place,but how is this even fair? She was just 26. A hardworking and passionate doctor. Trying to think that she might be in a better place at this age, is something that makes me feel even sadder. 

Treating these patients was my only distraction from thinking about Shyamala, but now that isn’t helping either. I just need some time off, I want to cry, I want to grieve, I want to bereave for the death of my colleague and someone I adore because I am just another human with feelings but right now that is not even an option…”

(Pic credit: freepik)