I got an unexpected and unpleasant phone call tonight. A friend called to say her husband is back in the hospital and, depending on the outcome of tests and evaluations and assessments, may not come home. He may have to go to a wound-care facility. If he has to undergo an amputation of his foot/leg, he may go beyond that to a permanent care facility.
That’s the sort of news that rips a person apart. We’re not super close, though we’re good friends, but it doesn’t matter, does it? How can one not feel absolutely torn into shreds by such news? It’s ugly and unwelcome and bitter.
But I’m not the one who has to deal with the worst of it, am I? I’m not the one who has to face amputation. I’m not the one who may have to deal with a partner who’s never home anymore. I’m not the one whose life has been torn into a thousand pieces.
I watch my own reaction to this news and think I am weaker than I ever thought I was. I am unable to face the news with the stiff upper lip that such information calls for. On one hand, I say “screw it.” On the other, I have to acknowledge that other people look at me askance for being such an overtly emotional dingo.
Crap, there I go again. It’s not about me. It’s about my friends and the miserable trauma they are going through. What can I do to ease the pain? What can I do to siphon off some of that bitterness and ugliness?
They tell me it’s best to just say “I’m here.” So that’s what I say. But that’s not nearly enough. We have to take off the blinders, rip off the shades, and recognize that we have to embrace one another. Hugs save lives. I’m certain of it.