Thursday, April 19, 2007

Losing One of Our Own

One thing about ER Nurses: We know, probably more than any other nursing specialty, the combination of medications that can make a suicide attempt successful.

One of our own ER Nurses successfully demonstrated her personal knowledge last week.

Of course, none of us who knew her- even those closest to her- has a clue why she killed herself.

The usual grief counselors were on hand a few days ago to help us discuss our feelings about the decision our friend and colleague made to take her own life. I did not attend. A wake was held at the local watering hole in the evening (of course) after the counseling session. I did not attend.

The funeral will be Friday. I cannot attend.

I have lost friends before. Years ago, in another life, I watched horrified as one of my closest friends was washed overboard in a severe storm at sea. I have since come to the understanding that even if I wanted to, there was not a thing I could have done to save him.

But this is different. She never gave anyone the chance to try to help her. And that is what bites at us.

There was no valiant fight against some grave illness. There was no horrible traffic accident. She was not murdered. She did this to herself. And because she did this to herself, people feel both sorrow and resentment toward her. That's hard to equate.

How do I feel? I don't know. I am not weepy, and I have not really agonized over it. She made her decision, and that's that. We all are dealing with this in different ways. I have said my goodbye; I am moving on. What more can I do?