Yesterday, I cared for a young man who had tried to take his life by way of an overdose. A delightful and very intelligent 19 year old, he had succumbed to worldly pressures and felt that he just couldn’t go on… fortunately friends found him in time.
In nursing school, we study therapeutic communication: asking open-ended questions, reflecting, using silence, restating, seeking clarification. The subject fascinated me all those years ago, as I sought to become a better nurse and studied hard to make good grades on the tests about this skill.
All that training was for naught when I entered his room and saw huge tears running down his precious face after he had spent the afternoon alone and isolated from family and friends. I asked if I could sit on his bed with him, and we talked for a long time. As his tears kept coming, turning into sobs, I could no longer be a nurse; the only thing possible was to be a Mama. I cradled that boy in my arms and let him cry it out until all the tears were gone. It may not have been the ‘correct and professional’ thing to do but sometimes we have to love them like they’re our babies.
He was discharged from the hospital today. Tonight I say a prayer for him that he will know when bad things happen, the feelings don’t last forever.