a burden too heavy to bear …

December 10, 2012

in Hospice & Palliative Medicine,Spirituality

“I work as a psychologist in a hospital, and I deal in particular with pregnancy issues. A woman and her husband tried to have children for a long time, and last February the long-awaited pregnancy finally began. One month later, the woman was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors didn’t give her any hope of survival, and she was advised to terminate the pregnancy. Before meeting her, one of the obstetricians told me they avoided this woman’s room as much as possible, because the burden was too heavy to bear. And a gynecologist said, ‘I try to go in only for absolute necessities, because the ending has already been written.’ The first time that I met this woman, I gave her the usual speech about the services that the hospital offers, but I stayed just for a short time because of the uneasiness I felt. The next visit, I spent more time with her. She told me about herself, the acute physical pain she was in, the difficult time she was having in understanding how, after a miracle (getting pregnant, which she had so strongly desired), she could have been given a punishment (the cancer). The longer I stayed with her, the more my usual professional competence proved to be insufficient to the situation. I couldn’t find any excuses, while her same questions opened up inside me, her same cry, which I brought with me when I left the room. And I started to realize that my abilities were not the issue here. There was something more [we think we can get by with our scientific rationality, but reality pushes us, challenges us, reawakening the same question: there is something more!]. That sick, pregnant woman placed in front of me, once more, all of my needy humanity within my professional role.” (Julian Carron – Life as Vocation -p. v)

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