Would we want to live in a bubble if we could? If it was at all possible, wouldn’t we choose to live in protection? To have the ability to protect ourselves, our families and our friends from all illness, injury or heartache that could harm us. Sadly, such a bubble doesn’t exist. As of late I’ve wondered if such a bubble did exist would I really want to live it…or my son to live in it? When we actually break it down, would we risk the loss of experience for the security of protection. I’ve thought of my son a great deal lately where this is concerned. I want to protect him from injury. Yet not at the sacrifice of experience. I want to protect his heart from being broken. Yet not at the sacrifice of him never knowing the joy of truly falling in love.
This caused me to reflect on my own bubble. I once fashioned myself to have a mighty bubble…perhaps even a bubble inside of a bubble–one layer thicker than the other. I believed it was my best source of protection. I may have even convince myself it was impenetrable. Of course I was wrong. I’ve been left wondering, is that such a bad thing? Just as I wouldn’t want to deny my son, I too shouldn’t deny myself the same life experiences. Yes, some lead to pains in the body or heart. Pains you really question will ever be healed. Wow…but do some lead to pretty amazing feelings. Would life be worth experiencing if for only living in a protective bubble?
Recently my clinic experiences have made me know the truth in all of this. In the last week, I’ve lost three patients. Three that had proven my bubble wasn’t as strong as I thought as they broke through both layers. One in particular. I remember my exact surroundings when the staff came in to tell me of her passing. I immediately thought of her husband. My heart ached for him. He was extremely attentive to her needs with such love in his eyes. I wanted to support him. So, I looked up the service arrangements. The picture of the woman that pulled up was not the one I had come to know. Seeing this young woman in a picture, which looked to be taken in the seventies, shook me. She had wild, curly hair and a smile vibrant of life–a smile full of possibility in a life yet to come. It’s hard to explain fully what I felt but here I was seeing the part of a full circle of her life through the eyes of those who loved her the most. I had shared with her where life had taken her and seen the innocence of her happiness in the future before her. My sadness for her husband was dampened somewhat with the thoughts of the life they had shared together. I was happy to have been included in their bubble.
There was another bubble I was a part of this past week. I had to give a husband and wife pretty hard, life-altering news. Sometimes our diagnostic tests leave us with results not easily discussed or received. Our bubbles overlapped one another’s that afternoon. I let them into mine to feel their fears and concerns. They let me into theirs for answers to questions that will change the lives they know. The man cupped his large hands over my hand as he told me goodbye. He commented to his wife as to how small my hand was in his. She said, “Small hand. Big heart.”
It was a hard week for my bubble and the bubbles of those around me. We can’t always live in a bubble for we would never know the full spectrum of the feelings we are capable of absorbing. Sometimes…sometimes…that’s not a bad thing.