If a patient dies and you’re not there to hear it, it still really happened.

Honestly, I enjoyed my Sunday off after a hard week. I did yoga for the first time in a while (if you care, I kept up ok). I had breakfast. I cooked. I watched a movie.

And when I got to work this morning, the list was one patient shorter. And I didn’t think anything of it. You had been in the ICU and I had been focusing on the floor patients (I didn’t want to get too greedy, you see).

So I didn’t even notice that you were gone. Until a med student told me. “Hey did you hear about [you] on Sat night?”

I hadn’t. There’s not a newsletter or APB or text message that goes out when patients die. I don’t know why. It’s not that it’s expected. I just don’t think there’s a good way to broach the topic for the people enjoying their movie at home by the people slumped over your body.

It still happened. And the sad thing is that I can’t remember your face. I remember consenting you for a different procedure prior to the one that took you to the ICU. I remember your son. I remember your daughter who I talked to all day to explain things. I remember seeing you inside and out of your harmless procedure. I remember thinking, “Thank God her heart didn’t act up during MAC.” I remember talking to you that morning before your surgery. I remember thinking of how old you were and if you really needed this surgery at this time. I remember so much. Just not your face.

I can’t remember you well enough in life. I won’t forget you in your death.

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