“I am always sad this time of year. I miss my son.” Her voice wavered a bit as she tried to speak around the lump forming in her throat.
“I am sorry,” I said quietly, grabbing the box of tissues for her.
“He’s been gone for four years now and I still cannot shake this sadness at the holidays.” Tears formed and overflowed. She dabbed at them. I already know that she is in counseling, that she does not want to discuss meds, that she is not a danger to herself.
“I am not sure you will ever get over it, you know. Not completely.” She nodded understanding.
My heart aches for her. A pain that threatens to swallow me up if I let it.
Part of me wants to stay. I want to talk to her about her son. What was he like? What does she miss about him the most? But I can’t. My other three rooms are full and I am running 20 minutes behind.
My mind races ahead to what lies in the next exam room…
So instead I give her hand a squeeze and when that just does not feel adequate, I give her a good, strong hug.
“Rosie will be in shortly to take you to the lab for the blood draw. I’ll see you back again in three months.”
And I walk away…