Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The town crier.

"Let her cry. Let the tears fall down like rain." 

- Hootie and the Blowfish

I used to try my best not to cry in front of patients and families. In medical school and residency, I'd excuse myself abruptly and tear out of the room and into a hallway or a bathroom when I felt my eyes stinging. I knew that if I didn't, the volcano would erupt and my secret would be out: I'm a crier.


One day, I didn't make it. I broke down crying while giving some bad news. And you know? The world did not end. I held it together enough to speak in full sentences but, yeah, I cried. Hard, too. And I cried because I was talking about something worth crying about.


Somebody was losing their mama. And that mama was a good mama, too. A sweet, sweet mama. You could see it in the way they rallied around her and rubbed her cheeks and kissed her head. Those grown kids couldn't be objective. Love had them all myopic to how bad this all was.

But not me.

Today that happened to me again. Almost exactly as it did that time many, many years ago. And it happens to me just about every time that I am on the hospital service. I step into the circle of love as one of the only ones who can see. But when they let me in, I start to feel that love, too. I do believe in miracles just like they do. Still, I owe it to everyone to be honest. To tell what I know.

"I don't know what to do," the daughter said.
"I am here to help you be brave," I replied.

And then we both cried. Hard. And I'm crying again writing this.

I'm okay with it, though. When it doesn't hurt is the only time I'll worry. Until then, I'll continue to keep two tissues in my pocket just in case.


#thisisgrady #bestjobever #humanityliveshere #letitburn #myteamsawmecrytoo #andiwascoolwithit #amazinggrady #john13v35 #loveisthewhat


  1. And this made me cry and if there is ever a better sign to a family that a doctor cares about their loved one than the doctor crying with them, I don't know what it could be.

  2. I’ll never forget the doctor who teared up as he hugged me having just told me my husband was not going to live. Everyone else had told me at a head level using facts and figures. He told me on a heart level. I got it then. Thank you for being a heart-level doctor.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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