A friend has passed.

by StrwbryblndRN StrwbryblndRN Member

Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

Good morning all.

I am not sure where to start and I'm sorry if the post is all over the place but I just got off of work this morning.

Well a couple of days ago I was went to work to get some info on my day off. As I was there a co-worker advised me of a patient's passing.

This was not just any patient. This was a friend. I work med-surg and the pt happened to be there for a very long time. Almost 2 years. He went quickly and unexpectedly.

He was young, intellectual and even had a degree in the medical field. He would talk to the nurses like friends and we were. We were his family.

He wasn't perfect by any means and he could get on your nerve like any family member would .

Well, I took the time this morning to walk past his room to get a reality check regarding his death. (There has always been a mild jest about how he would probably not leave unless he passed. Little did we realize how true it was.)

Other than misty eyes I can't seem to let reality set in or at least the flood gates won't open.

I've heard the story of how everything happened, listened to how everyone had different fun things to say about him. (He would quiz me on movie quotes from the eighties and played quick video games with some of the nurses when we had time) He will be missed. But nothing emotional.

My question is..I am wrong to not cry over this? I have never been one to sob uncontrollably but I wonder if I am too stoic. Is this a vaild way of coping? There has not been a memorial yet and maybe that is when it will hit me.

I understand that life happens and to not take it for granted. I live and appreciate most everything and find the good in most. Everyone's life will come to an end and we never know when.

But I am not sure if I can cry. Not because I keep it bottled or don't care but because that is just me.

Is this reasonable?

What do you think?

PS. The closeness of this pt to the nurses was well-known by docs, dietary and any other floor of the hospital.

FireStarterRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience. 3,823 Posts

I think you are a credit to the profession of nursing with your compassion and caring. :redbeathe

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend...



1,975 Posts

You sounds like a very kind and compassionate nurse. People grieve in different ways. May he rest in peace.


nightmare, LPN

Specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology.. 2 Articles; 1,297 Posts

You will cry at his Memorial/funeral.that's how it is for me too.

crissrn27, RN

Specializes in nursery, L and D. Has 8 years experience. 904 Posts

I don't cry much, either. Well, let me rephrase that......I'm apt to cry at sob songs, movies, etc, but when something really matters I tend to not cry. Just how I am, I guess. Maybe all those years of nursing school where it was a sin to cry (old school instructors!), changed me?

Anyway, obviously you cared about and for this pt, so just grieve in whatever way you do, and don't worry about it. Everyone deals with things differently.



Has 20 years experience. 1,842 Posts

Very sorry that you've lost a friend.

If crying occurs - it occurs; if crying does not occur - for some people it doesn't occur. People differ in their response.

casi, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience. 2,063 Posts

Different people react to the death of someone they are close to differently. You may cry at some point and you may not.

If you don't cry it doesn't mean you don't care. It just means you handle death differently.

A little side story, when my Grandpa died I was 16 and went with my mom to the nursing home to see him. It was a horrifying sight for a 16 year old to see her grandfather in. They hadn't been able to get his eyes or mouth closed. At this time I didn't cry. I couldn't cry. I didn't cry until the service when I completely lost it. It doesn't mean I didn't care about his death or didn't love him. I just reacted to his death differently then my Mom and her siblings did.


Specializes in Nursing assistant. 1 Article; 1,429 Posts

I have had a boat load of hospice patients. Sometime, later down the road, you wil cry.



Specializes in NICU. 320 Posts

I'm not much of a crier, either. It's just who I am, and I don't really worry about it. The only downside is that people usually turn to me to jump in and take care of things because they're all sobbing.

Shedding tears is not a measure of how much you love or care, or your level of compassion. Don't worry about it.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend.

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health. 7,984 Posts

There is never an appropriate behavior; you may cry, you may not. However, the fact that you posted this demonstrates that you do care, because you wanted to share your experience and interactions with this person with us. I'm sorry for your loss.

Nurse Salt

Nurse Salt

330 Posts

It will probably hit you at some random time... Something will directly or indirectly remind you of him and you will have your "moment" then. This patient was obviously pretty sick to have been in the hospital for 2 years and I would imagine he was suffering in some way (be it physically or emotionally). You and your coworkers obviously made his last days brighter. Perhaps some of the reason for your nonemotional response is that some part of you knows he is no longer suffering and you are allowed (IMO) to rejoyce in that...

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