What Caring Feels Like

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Not too long ago my mother was severely sick and admitted in the hospital. She had to undergo a surgery. At the time, my relationship with her was strained to say the least, but you classify these issues as trivial in times of sickness. I was concerned about her, I wished she would return home healthy and in full swing. But I couldn’t go visit her in the hospital, and I know she still holds that against me. Those nude walls and the smell of disinfectants make me uneasy. When I look at a sleeping patient’s face, my brain tells me very masochistically, “This is what they would look like when they’re dead.” My mother’s all well now.

Recently, a very dear friend was admitted in a hospital, it was sudden. I went to visit him despite my aversion. I just wanted to see his face. I wanted to be brave. When I entered the ICU, he was under anesthesia, his condition critical. I called out his name. He didn’t wake up, didn’t respond. My mind started spurting disturbing thoughts. I tried to quieten them. The doctors asked me to shake him and try to wake him up. I couldn’t. I was afraid of the silence reinforcing that dreaded thought.

The next day he was awake. We spoke for a while. He looked better. But I couldn’t shake this ill feeling inside of me.

It is hard for me to get attached to people. But sometimes, some people happen to walk right through those walls. Hard times teach you lessons that you won’t learn otherwise. And sometimes these lessons are perceptions about yourself. Maybe those ‘ill feelings’ are these realizations- teaching me what it’s like to truly care about somebody.

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