We say so often in this world that it is a matter of LIFE and DEATH.
Well yes, it is.
Yesterday, I ushered out of this world a new soul who drew her first and last breath in the span of one…..single…..day.
She was fragile and delicate with a transparent elfin beauty that surprised her expectant parents. She stared into this new world as she struggled to raise a tiny cry and then……she was gone.
And as I guided her parents through their first diaper change and showed them how to swaddle their dying babe; as we washed her pale and lifeless body and carefully dressed her one last time WE were living.
In my profession, I have borne witness to the vagaries of the human condition. The ramifications of a duplicated gene here, a missing one there, first trimester deficiencies or unfettered drug and alcohol abuse. From missing jaws and limbs to eyes and balloon like skulls; intestines grown hot and steamy outside pale and tender abdomens to gelatinous miracles that pay testament to the brilliance of modern medicine.
However, what I am brilliantly failing to say is that even the experience of death is life.
Those parents, their baby, that moment in time; that DEATH is a part of my LIFE forever.
And so in the end, I hugged them tightly to me, told them what wonderful parents they were and then quietly left with their shattered hopes and dreams.
I slipped that tiny body into its plastic encasement and watched and waited silently for one last breath that never came before I slowly zipped it closed.
And then I left.