Sorrow Shared is Halved
(previously titled 'Pain Shared is Halved')
By Audrey W.
He stood outside the hospital room door, wondering what he was going to say. He’d been called a few hours earlier and told he needed to get there as soon as he could. Unfortunately, residing many miles away in Carson, he could only get to Northern California so fast. Thus he hadn’t arrived in time. His older cousin had stopped him where she was getting the paperwork for her mother that would need to be signed, and delivered the bad news to him: after an up and down four days, her father had lost his battle with a bleeding ulcer.
Now John Gage would never get to say ‘goodbye’ to the uncle who’d become more like a father to him after his own parents had passed away; he wouldn’t get to express his regrets of spending less time together in recent years.
He let out a sad sigh. There was the familiar hollowness within, and he could physically feel the heartache. It was as though a part of him had been ripped away. Again.
He slowly opened the door to the hospital room. His Aunt Ruth sat crying in a chair beside the bed where her husband died just a short time before. It was empty now, just a rumpled bottom sheet remained, the top one balled up with a blanket near the foot of the mattress. An IV pole and monitors no longer in use remained.
The off-duty paramedic had been asked by the hospital staff to explain to her that she’d have to leave the room soon. They wanted to have it ready in case another patient should need it.
But when her pain-filled gaze met his, he wasn’t so sure he could do it just yet.
A whispered, “I’m sorry,” was all he could manage as he walked over to her and bent down to give her a hug. The two spent a long moment embraced, their loss shared. Each felt the heaviness of their sorrow lesson, even if only for a brief period of time.
Note: Depending on its severity, a bleeding ulcer can take a young or old life very quickly. It can develop in a matter of a few days. Symptoms include loose stools and blood within them.
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