I was rushing around today at work, busy as usual. Even though I’m not giving chemo right now, there’s still plenty to do. I was in the middle of admitting a patient when my manager came to the door to get me. I read her lips, and that’s how I discovered that one of my other patients had just died.
It was somewhat expected by this point, although the disease conquered her in just a few months. The family wanted an autopsy done, not because they didn’t know why she had died, but because she was the kind of person who would have wanted her death to mean something. They wanted as much knowledge to come out of it as possible.
I know that I come into contact with death more than the average girl, but each time is uniquely difficult. Today I felt the stark contrast of the new life that is taking shape in my body with the bleak scene in front of me. As I gently cleaned my patient’s body and wrapped it in the shroud, my hand reached idly to touch my forehead, where the trace of ashes still remained.
Remember that you came from dust, and to dust you will return.