The image of finding my patient unresponsive is stuck in my head. I keep seeing him laying there all haphazard.
You get jumpy about things. Like whenever I hear a loud noise, my instinct is to go help whoever just fell or is seizing. I learned to watch for chest rise when I worked at the nursing home, so I always have, but now I'm jumpy about it. Maybe that will get better.
That night, I was talking in my sleep. Thomas told me I said, "Layers," like I was giving an answer in class. And there was nothing else. After he told me that, I just kept thinking about this story I heard once about a woman who had a near-death experience. She said the singing in heaven wasn't just harmony, it was like layers.
Yesterday, my voice teacher told me that singing is about trusting and letting go. Trusting that your voice knows how to do it, and letting it go. She's telling me about the anatomy of the voice, and it's amazing. Your larynx opens and closes hundreds, even thousands of times in one second depending on the pitch that you're singing. It's the same about running. Your legs know what to do. Actually, once you start walking, and I assume it holds true for running, it's a reflex. There's no brain involvement at all, just spinal cord. And breathing - well, it's all automatic. You don't have to control anything. You just let go and run.
Dead people usually look...dead. Shriveled. Dry. He looked like he was sleeping. Perfect. Peaceful. He had been working so hard to breathe for so long. He was labored at baseline. Then nothing. No movement. No more labor.
All of it helps me let go, and you have to let go, else you can't go back there again. But I went back twice already, and it wasn't so bad. I still like my job. It's a battlefield, and you question your decisions. But sometimes, you just have to let go.