Early in the morning. An hospital office. Two doctors, exhausted, communicate the imminent death of a patient in the surgery room to his family. After a day of hard work, Physiology, or the whole of nature, has been over them, questioning the false expectations that, in not few occasions, overestimate the capabilities of their science.
Nothing to blame. Only in their stomach that old bitter feeling of defeat, and any uncomfortable question, useless, about what they would change the next time. It is difficult to calm, even with years of experience, that unforgiving judge of their Ego, which improves them, but that torture with the own and fictitious failure. Now it´s time of the bitter moment to recognize in public a feared and cruel reality.
Family, humbled, but contained, listen silently to their explanations. Technical language. “We tried anything… It was impossible… He did not respond”. They seem to understand. A daughter, nurse, asks if they can see him in the surgery room before disconnecting.
– “May I insist?. For me it is very important”, replies the daughter.
The other doctor looks at her eyes. He perceives, as a lash, a deep but nor surly pain. A wrapped penalty of sweetnees and politeness, whom asks for something that is not in her hand to get. A dignified and strong pain, that only seeks a last handle to avoid tearing. A final grace which is more than a whim inconvenient. The farewell of whom, probably, was the lighthouse of her life. The first necessary step to resolve a long and hard grief.
Moved by this, the doctor understand, that they cannot deny, hiding behind the usual cold, without incurring the greatest of cruelties. After convincing his fellow, even dubious, they access her request. They accompany the daughter, with slow pace, surrounded by a light white and spectral, that hurts the eyes after reflected in the metal doors of the surgery room. Silence is oppressive. A parade to nowhere.
Her face seems relaxed, while the doctor recognizes a superhuman sense of worth, close to fainting. As the pale Virgin of Van der Weyden at the foot of the cross, whom the doctor moved admires. A fortitude, which seems to have been strengthened by those few seconds inside, but pain can explode with a little blow. A contention of who has been educated in love, but also in the face of adversity and in the discipline of acceptance.
On the strength of those arms that oppress him momentarily, he finally finds a sense of all the fatigue that invades him, after opposing many hours the inevitable. Because in this embrace, boils down the real reason that led him to become a doctor more than thirty years ago. If you can´t heal, comfort and accompany. He feels that by losing a life, his emotion, often neglected, has allowed him that other life can begin a grief without ballasts. He thinks, comforted in her arms, that he has created a lasting bond with someone admirable. He is who is grateful to her for giving him the opportunity to practise Medicine. With a capital letter.