I arrived today at my internship site greeted by the death of a 4 year old patient with a malignant tumor in the neck. My supervisor told me that I was needed inside one of the wards because a patient was dying and the family were in need of psychological help. Just as we were about to enter the patient's room, his sister came running out crying saying Rap Rap had passed away.
I'm used to seeing people die-- I've been volunteering in the hospital's cancer wards for several years no. I also go see my doctor every month and I always here about other patients who also died. I've lost friends, loved ones, acquaintances, colleagues, etc to death. But today I learned that it doesn't make anything any easier.
I had to fight back my tears while I was watching Rap rap's mother and sister cry over him. He was so small. I watched the doctor perform the tests to confirm if he was indeed dead. I watched the other kids inside the ward look at his body with curiousity and fear. As a psychologist I am trained to help people who suffer from losses like this. But today I also found myself at a loss. I didn't know what to say or do. I didn't know how to make their pains go away. What do you say to a mother who just lost his son and who's asking you why did God take away her child?Or how can you comfort a sister who lost her youngest brother to a disease that she couldn't even understand?
It's hard. I wish I could come up with the answers but I can't. When a child dies, it goes against the nature of death. Parents are not supposed to bury their kids but rather the other way around. The circle of life dictates that. I sometimes ask God why these kids have to suffer at such a young age. This morning I also met a girl name Preaxie who had extremely high fever due to a recent transfusion. She was crying for her mother to hug her and begging her to take her home. I stroked her knees to try and keep her warm. That was all I could do--be there. Nothing else. I wish I could do more for these kids. I wish I had a magic wand to make their pains go away.
But I can't.
All I know and hope for is that at least Rap rap is in a better and happier place now.