How a Patient Moved Me to Tears

A few days every month, I work as an emergency doctor.

During a recent tour of duty, I was called to help an elderly man who had passed out. By the time I arrived at the scene, the patient was well, fortunately.

But, just to be sure, my team and I took him with us for a more thorough check-up.

In the car on the way to the hospital, I talked with him. He was visibly upset, crying big, ugly tears. This struck me.

I asked him what was wrong, and he told me he was waiting for his wife to come back from vacation. He said she was supposed to pick him up that day. He was spending a few days at an assisted-living facility home because he couldn’t stay in his own home alone anymore.

He said he was worried because he wouldn’t be there when his wife arrived to pick him up. He knew she’d be worried and scared. He was crying because he wouldn’t be there to hold her, to comfort her, to reassure her that everything was OK.

This display of love and concern touched me deeply. I was moved to tears myself. When I returned to my room, alone, I allowed myself to cry, too.

I cried tears of sadness and joy; I cried for longing and love.

I wonder what would happen if we all gave ourselves permission to express our sadness, vulnerability and pain openly, without shame or fear?

Would the world be a more caring, loving place?

When was the last time you admitted to yourself or to a stranger that you missed your partner, husband, wife?

When was the last time you dropped the veil and revealed your truest feelings in the moment?

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Showing 2 comments
  • adrienne boullianne

    many times, during my yoga or feldenkrais practices, i will not be able to hold back tears, from some emotional pocket getting released through movement. sometimes, it comes over me all of a sudden, and i cant hold back, try as i may. unfortunately, i feel extremely uncomfortable crying in front of others, but i happen to cry a lot…for joy or sadness. i always feel so much better afterwards… what an energy release!

    • Dr. Tiny Jaentsch

      yes. i feel the same.

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