By Tracy Lee
The older I get, the more I realize that people tend to develop their own distinctive doctrines in life. In general, people will take a truth and alter it to comfortably fit it into their own understanding or habits. The problem with this adaptation is that one day that which we have justified, almost always, inconveniently justifies itself. A truth that is altered even slightly for convenience, comfort, or for any other reason, will, at some point, reveal its truth in its entirety. When this happens, one’s world rattles, and we see people who have always been confident in their convictions falter. The realization that our own justifications in life justify themselves may well set us back to a place where we may question our abilities in almost every facet of life.
I have a friend who is a retired medical practice manager. She has a unique insight into the interpretations and justifications of medical practitioners. One of the things she has always told me is that certain medical professionals tend to callous themselves toward human pain. To an extent, one might be able to justify some level of callousness in this profession. One might suggest that to endure treating thousands of pain suffering human beings, one must shield oneself from their suffering. On the other hand, one might suggest that to become blind to their pain is to become inhumane toward their quality of life. It is an interesting argument, one that I am sure medical practitioners struggle with constantly.
I have another friend. She is a retired medical practitioner. I have observed that she has lived by my first friend’s observations, and has, to an extent, justified shielding herself from the acknowledgment of pain. The problem with justifying a truth is that it somehow spills over into other aspects of our lives. I am sure that when my friend began her medical career, seeing people suffer physical pain was emotionally distressing to her. As she became an experienced medical practitioner, I could see that the pain of others distressed her less and less. In fact, as time pressed forward, I could see that not only did the physical pain of her patients seem to only be an inconvenient notation, eventually, their emotional pain became equally inconvenient. Of course, for both issues, there were treatments she could prescribe, doctors she could refer, or labels she could assign.
The loss of a loved one is immensely painful. The loss of an immediate loved one is beyond that. The pain of immediate loss is so overpowering that it can become instantly life threatening to the survivor. I see it daily. It is something over which I cannot callous. Recently, my medical practitioner friend lost her husband. Throughout her years of practice, she has had thousands of opportunities to study disease and recovery. Opportunities to study the recovery of the human spirit, however, have been lost to her as she calloused herself to them. Those experiences would be great resources to draw upon for application toward the pain she must now endure. Instead, she faces her recovery through this experience as an infant.
The master healer taught recovery through spiritual mastery. Love, although encompassing elements of physical attraction and emotional fulfillment, is a spiritual endowment. Grief, brought on through the death of a loved one, thereby requires a spiritual recovery. It is the most difficult and dreaded recovery man faces.
In its truest form, love is pure; it holds nothing selfish, nor in contempt. Pure love is charity. Love is the root contributory to grief. Without love, loss would be insignificant. With physical and emotional pain, the sufferer desires the root causes to disappear. In grief, the sufferer desires the opposite,; he or she desires the root cause to reappear. Recovery from loss is the acceptance of spiritual separation and faith in a reunion.
The older I get, the more I realize that people tend to develop their own distinctive doctrines in life. I believe I do that myself. I wish there were a way for me to collect all of the wisdom my friend let pass by and put it into a beautifully wrapped get-well package for her recovery. Unfortunately, even if that were possible, it would not help her. She, as everyone else, must reconcile her loss through the master healer.