I suppose as someone who has been in medicine for a while, seen many people pass away and cut up many of their bodies, i am in a way desensitized about death. I can say, being about as close to it as people get, can be both a blessing and a curse. Seeing death so up close, hearing it, and smelling it, can bring one much closer to getting to know the great unknown, and that one frightening mystery disappears from the mind. And naturally, what one knows well, one fears much less.
Death is both beautiful and ugly at the same time. It is both fair and unfair, and it is both detested and welcomed. From a young father in love with his family having to surrender his life to a highly malignant tumor struck in the midst of strong health and family happiness, to a 95 year old beggar with nothing left, dying in agony from a broken hip – people will either fight with all their power against death to the last, or pray for it. In medicine, one can get to see it all, and observe it all as a scientist, trying to understand it, and come to own terms to it.
But perhaps on the other hand, a medic thinks of death much more than a young person “should”. I find my mind often preoccupied with it, pondering it, and some would say, obsessing about it. What comes after is still one of the greatest questions i have yet to answer, but i have little to say in terms of consolation to those who lose people they care for – other than to be mindful that feelings of grief are not for the dead, but for the living… Most commonly for oneself.