Another Angel. (Originally Posted 6-30-06)

I was sitting in Occupational Health yesterday trying to find something to divert my attention away from the impending TB shot I was going to get. National Geographic from 1999, AARP magazine, Popular Mechanic or yesterday’s obituaries. Good Lord, decisions, decisions.

I realized that I had actually read the Popular Mechanic issue last time I was in, so I grabbed the obituaries. Yes. Morbid. That’s me.

I instantly got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach… The one you get when you realize that you know one of the faces staring back at you. One of my favorite regulars.

I realize that in our line of work, loss is something we deal with often. But this was the first time I read the obits and recognized one of my patients. It hit me hard. Later on I broke the news to Pseudo Dad. I think he realized that I wasn’t taking it well, and I’m glad he was gentle.

“It happens, EpiJunky. You know he’s in a better place…. Think of what the last two years of his life had been like. You have a big heart, kiddo.”

He was such a wonderful man, very intelligent, well spoken... Had such a loving wife... She was there every morning, at the crack of dawn, when we'd bring her husband in for his treatment. And we're talking 5:15am here. And she'd be there with a smile on her face. She would thank us for bringing him in. Every single time.

As I read his obituary, I learned there was even more to this man than I had suspected... Three degrees, a Masters degree, and even more. A teacher for years who impacted so many young lives, an artist, a religious man... A man who lived his life the right way. I can just imagine what it would have been like to be one of his children. To have a father who stressed the importance of religion and education, and the arts...

I’m heartbroken for his family.

God gains another angel.

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