I’ve spent a lot of time at the hospital the past two weeks with my mom. Hospitals make me feel present. People staying there are in a bad way. They aren’t hiding they are in pain or having a very difficult time. They seem real and alive. It reminds me of when I was in the hospital and rehab for two months after my lung transplant some years back. The residents were beautiful and radiant to me amidst their pain and difficulties. I too was struggling and felt I didn’t have to hide my own feebleness. People looked at me with compassion and there wasn’t a sense I should be otherwise. It was a great freedom.
Outside of the hospital it feels to me like people are often in pain and having a hard time, but there’s a sense of an investment in not making that apparent. Like there’s a lot of pressure to look like we have it together. In the air it feels socially important to appear to be strong. I’ve certainly felt that way at times. I find it exhausting because I feel like I’m lying. That’s why I try and be as honest as I can when I write a blog post.
My mom was supposed to go to assisted living Friday, but she’s been experiencing a downturn, so the hospital is waiting to release her. She lay in her hospital bed with very little energy. She was so vulnerable. She felt like a brittle eggshell. I didn’t feel she should be otherwise. I told her I love her. I wanted her to know that I see her and love her as she is.