Posted by: Brendan Fraser21 AUG 2012
Death is a difficult subject to discuss. In general, I find it isn't really talked about, almost like a secret. This makes sense due to the deep sadness surrounding death. Who would want to discuss something so morbid?
I saw porters carrying away a deceased patient last week and although this happens in hospital, the event was quite bizarre for me. We were casually discussing how hectic it must be (is in my supervisors case) to be a pharmacist, when we both caught a glimpse of these porters which immediately stopped our conversation mid-flow. For that couple of seconds, which reflecting back on it now, seemed a lot longer, my mind considered the implications of death and the feelings that come with it.
To elaborate, I don't really think about death whilst in the hospital. It's natural for me to look at patients in a positive light - "these patients are going to get better". I think the hospital is a healing place, full of varied individuals with a variety of skills and clinical knowledge that can help people with a different health-related issues. However, in some cases, this fact does not matter and patients do die regardless. I know this. But, I didn't actively realise it, like I did when I saw the porters.
It's slightly surreal to think I didn't know the patients name, I had never met them but they were an active person, their physical body was in that bag, but they were not. Thatis quite a sobering thought. I considered the philosophical/theological/myths that accompany death (reincarnation, heaven/hell, non-existence, ghosts) in that couple of seconds it didn't matter what I concluded because the patient was dead and nothing would change that.
That was strange few seconds for me, considering death and its significance. The pharmacist was aware of my distraction and asked if I was ok, to which I replied "Of course." and remained silent until returning to pharmacy. I was not overly upset by the experience, it's a natural process but I was more perplexed by my consideration of death at that instant.
This was a personal revelation for me in, which I thought significant to share with others.