Nursing In Tragic Times
During the previous week, the country has seen about as much tragedy as anyone could bear, especially within the city of Orlando.
Through the rapid-fire response of media, many have been quick to respond, with global outpourings of sympathy and expressions of support. Unfortunately, the opposite has also been true, as politicians and citizens have posted critical, irresponsible messages on social media, with a few maybe patting themselves on the back, offering "I told you so" as a response to grieving survivors.
Fortunately, we have millions of nurses throughout the country who have been exposed to grief and unexpected tragedy through experience. We know that mere words cannot soften the blow of unspeakable events, and there IS no ready explanation for an event that is truly not explainable. Tragedy grabs life and holds on like the random click of a kaleidoscope; one click to the right or left and it's a totally different framework. Nurses see that almost every day. We hold the suffering close to us, comforting them when no comfort is available except to hear another human heart beating closely, the warmth and smell of another living individual to hang onto for a few moments of care when caring seems to have taken a long, long leave of absence.
And who else but a nurse could really understand and comfort parents of a toddler so suddenly gone by a tragic accident in Florida? What type of world do we live in when other parents feel entitled to jump on social media and critique parents who have suffered such a loss?!! It's insane.
Nurses understand grief so much better. We know that no one is immune to making mistakes, no parent perfect, no one above reproach. No one.
Nurses are beautiful human beings, and during tragic times, there are not enough of us to go around. Nurses provide the backbone of reason for those who seem to be without, compassion for those who choose to be impassioned with unreasonable hatred, and the rationale for the world to become a better place.
We cannot allow tragedy and bitterness to win. As Tony award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda so passionately proclaimed before a packed audience (after he scrapped his acceptance speech), "love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love..., and he ended his sonnet with these words:
"Now fill the world with music, love, and pride". As a nurse, I couldn't have said it better. That's exactly what we're here to do.