Supporting families (and ourselves) with loss may be some of the most difficult work in healthcare. Here are phrases we find helpful.
“I am so sorry for your loss. As much as you can, give grief the reins. Give it all the time it needs.”
“Many people experience anger, sadness, a sense of relief (from suffering), numbness, confusion…all of these emotions may come and go, without a prescribed order or timeline.”
“Allow all the feelings and emotions as they come. There will be days you feel on firmer footing and others when you may feel swept away.”
“Your relationship with your husband isn’t over. It will be different now. You will always carry that connection in your heart.”
“It is normal to feel profound fatigue and need extra time to process thoughts and emotions with this loss.”
“I am holding you and your family in my heart. I am here for you if you need a listening ear.”
A loss may be a death, a new illness, a miscarriage, a transition that feels abrupt, or even a change in how we feel toward our careers in medicine. Carry yourselves gently and with kindness as you encounter your own losses too.
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