Friday, October 21, 2011


This morning I had an early meeting at work.  We all sat in the conference room and were about to begin. The medical director was called out of the meeting.  He came back in and announced that one of our beloved doctors had died last night.  And then we sat in silence for a good two minutes, sniffing and stifled sobs the only sounds punctuating the quiet.  Someone got up and brought in two boxes of kleenex.  We all reached for one or two and dabbed our eyes and noses.  

Then our medical director (written of earlier this week as "my favorite psychiatrist") said, "I know this is hard, but we really have to go on with our meeting."  And we did.  It was indeed hard.  

I loved this doctor.  I wrote about him in July when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He was 72 years old, which probably sounds old enough to die if you are young.  But he was still working every day, and working a very challenging job.  He was the best psychiatrist I ever knew.  My background is medical records (I am a credentialed health information administrator), and I fell in love with him before I even met him.  His records were impeccable.  His documentation always far beyond complete.  His meticulous caring was evident on every page.  His handwriting was legible!   And he was handsome - in a Cary Grant (photo above) kind of way.   

He loved me as the medical record director and he never quite forgave me for being promoted 10 years ago.  

In July, he got added to my list of people I pray for every day.  This morning I prayed for him and started crying.  I just felt that he was gone.  

But when I got to work and saw everyone acting normally I was sure I had to be wrong.  We just didn't know yet.  It was a mournful place for the rest of the day once we knew.  

I know this has nothing to do with my blog.  

Except that I am a sober woman and I have been able to love people I work with.  I know some alcoholics have a stable work history while drinking, but that certainly wasn't my story.  The fact that I have worked somewhere for 17 years and have loved people I interact with every day is nothing short of miraculous.

And sometimes that hurts.

Like today.  

God bless you Dr. L___.  You will be sorely missed.  


Cheri said...

I am so very sorry for your loss and you are in our prayers. My daddy passed away this past Sunday, and he was only 75. I feel your pain.

dAAve said...

Sorry for the losss of Dr. L___.

I think this writing has EVERYTHING to do with your blog. Part of living sober is learning to handle feelings -- both good and bad. You show us how to feel -- without needing to drink.

Thanks you.

Pammie said...

Love always seems to equal pain at some point. I'm sorry my mary.

greenorange said...

"It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch." I wish I knew the source of that quote. I'll add, though, that's it's a beautiful and necessary thing to love to have a life worth living. I'm sorry for your loss.

Hope said...

I am sorry for your loss MC. Hugs.

Lou said...

Sorry, Mary.

Cary Grant is timeless gorgeous.

Steve E said...

I think this has a LOT to do with your blog, Mary. Thank you for posting your sadness, and other feelings, important to everyone. Ya never know...whose sadness you have touched--with your own

I'm sorry for your loss.

Syd said...

I am sorry about the loss of someone who sounds like a great fellow and who meant so much to you. It is good that you thought about him and mourn him.

Debbi said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, MC.

Christy said...

I am sorry for your loss. How wonderful though that you were able to experience, know and love this man in your sobriety.

@Greenorange- wonderful quote. It is from a poem by Rabbi Chaim Stern as follows:

"It is a fearful thing to love
what death can touch.

A fearful thing to love,
hope, dream: to be —
to be, and oh! to lose.

A thing for fools this, and
a holy thing,
a holy thing to love.

your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.

To remember this brings a painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing,
to love
what death has touched."