Cusack, Erin


the pictures
almost break me

happy days
birthday parties
kids smiling in colorful t-shirts
the little girls I didn’t know she had
life being lived

she’s only twenty-six

maybe she was happy once
light in her eyes
hope even

I look down as the hot swelling tears burn behind my eyes
fighting the visceral ache in my chest
I can’t handle her flood of tears
her apologies

I’m usually stronger than this
I’m sorry

her words my own heart
her heart infinitely more broken than mine

I don’t want to be the one to tell her to say goodbye
but I tell her,
sit and listen
a tragic life
scars and hurt
and ways to numb the pain

she wasn’t always like this

she can’t control the rush of tears now
I wish -
I can’t -
I hope she knows I love her
I did the best I could

I’m sure she knows
my words feel weak even though I mean them
biting my lip, tell myself to swallow my tears

keep it together

It is her heartbreak
It is my job

in a room down the hall her daughter is dying

I sit
my impossible rounds list in my pocket
my hand on hers
and let the minutes pass.

Theme: Death and Dying | Décès et le mourir
Theme: Family | Famille
Theme: Patients | Patients
Theme: Relationships | Relations

Stories in Family Medicine | Récits en médecine familiale [Internet] Mississauga ON: College of Family Physicians of Canada. 2008 --.




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