Lessons Medicine Nonfiction Reflection

A Dream.

A few days before I learned what happened, I had a dream about you. When I awoke, my heart felt like a bird flapping its wings inside the cage of my ribs.

The details had vanished. Only anxiety remained.

I gasped when I learned what happened. I suddenly remembered the little details, the things that never made it into the clinical notes: You liked your coffee black. You read the Wall Street Journal. You missed driving your sports car.

Where did you kill yourself? Did you get a motel room? Were you outside? What time of day was it?

You certainly planned this. When did you make the final decision? Did you waver? Did you want to waver?

They say that there are two kinds of psychiatrists: The kind who have never had a patient commit suicide, and the kind who have had patients kill themselves.

I now belong to the second group. We all join the second group at some point.

I wish you hadn’t killed yourself.

I thank you for what you have taught me, both in life and in death.

I wish you had the peace in life that you thought was only available in death.

May peace be with you now.