The older I get the more I realize that life should never be taken for granted. I am more mindful today to be grateful for all the things that come my way in this journey called life. I have experienced my own losses in life as I have shared numerous times on this site. Each day I try and teach my patients to be humble and grateful and take the time to slow down and really take in all the surroundings whether it be a flower that bloomed or simply enjoying the day through the eyes of a small child. I truly believe if you really want to enjoy the moment surround yourself with children and experience that day through their little eyes. It is an amazing joy.
Last night, we lost a coworker. This person was not an elderly person with a long term illness but a vibrant younger person who succumbed to an apparent drug overdose in an employee bathroom. I did not witness it as I had already left for the day but others witnessed the aftermath of this discovery. The code white. The police. The ambulance. The fire department. Finally, the medical examiner. Our society views those struggling with substance abuse/addiction as though the person is a low life not worth helping because they choose to use drugs and/or alcohol and made a consciousness decision to destroy their life and everyone else's life around them. I have spent the last ten years trying to change that opinion because it is oh so untrue. I have counseled the person struggling with the addiction as well as taught the families who love them what addiction actually was in scientific evidence based terms. Some have listened, others merely heard.
I guess my point is this. We are all human beings and make mistakes. We have feelings. We are vulnerable. Substance abuse is not a moral issue but a mental health problem and currently a national crisis in this country and many others. We have to start looking at it in terms of helping and treatment as oppose to shunning and ignorance. This person who died last night was educated, had a family and a home and who went to work everyday. I was told there were many tears last night and I witnessed tears today as I held one coworker in my arms as she sobbed. She was the strong one last night going around and offering comfort and support and setting up grief counseling for her fellow coworkers without a tear. Today, she broke down and cried out her heart which was filled with pain and loss.
I will not pretend that I understand God's plan for us and I stopped questioning years ago when I lost my son and granddaughter. I try to believe God has a plan for all of us. Some of us will travel a long rocky road while others just glide on through. It is not a question of fair or unfair. It just is. Where we are at is exactly where we are suppose to at. View situations as a learning. Continue moving forward. Slow down and cherish the experience. And never ever give up hope.