The power of ‘sorry’
Sorry, each staff member said. So sorry. Their eyes said sorry, too, and the softness of their mannerisms.
The doctor said this procedure was something he was called upon to do two or three times a week.
He, too, used comforting words. I’m not here to hurt you, he said.
As my son and I watched life drain from the eyes and body of our 16-year-old friend, we were still in the antiseptically cold confines of a doctor’s office. But we were in — a space, a space that allowed grief, that showed sensitivity.
What more could you want as a patient, as the family member of a patient? Make a mistake, then sorry counts for something. During a long wait, again, sorry matters.
As we left the veterinarian’s office, cradling the blanket holding our dear friend, there was a warmth in shared grief. Sorry — a powerful tool that embraces the healing still to come and the respect for a well-lived life that was no more.
Epilogue: Not a week had gone since Pocko’s passing when a condolence card and an artfully folded copy of the “Rainbow Bridge” story arrived in the mail. Thank you again, Saddleback Veterinary Hospital in Clovis.