Last week, I was working a Sunday shift when one of the doctors opened up to me about the death of his infant son.
Just like that we were no longer divided by eight years of schooling, multiple degrees, scrub colors, or salary ranges. In that moment, he wasn't a doctor and I wasn't a scribe. We were both parents who lost children.
It's a bond I've made with many people over the years, like joining this quiet club that no one wants to join. And once you've joined it, your name is written in that book and you can't revoke your membership no matter how hard you try to resign.
People often ask me why I blog, or why I'm on Twitter, or why I'm so open about my miscarriages, and my answer is always the same-- I know what it was like to feel alone in all this. I know what it's like to tell people I have no children in passing, because it's easier than telling them about the worst days of my life. Sometimes it's embarrassing to tell them that I'm still mourning.
Truth be told, that's what I told that doctor yesterday when he asked if I had kids.
"Nope." I answered. "None." Emergency doctors aren't exactly known for being the touchy-feely type.
"You?" I asked him, as he typed up a diagnosis for the lady in room seven.
"I have two." Then he told me about his young daughter, and about the son he lost, and about how he visited his grave recently. He told me about how it was the hardest thing he ever endured, about how terrifying the idea of having another child seems, about how he never knows quite how to answer that question. I just nodded my head, ashamed of my cowardice. I was ashamed that I didn't answer truthfully. Ashamed that transparency and authenticity would take everything out of me and that I opted for the easy way out.
But I get it.
That's why I talk about it.
That's why I blog about it.
That's why I won't just get over it.
I have "met" many men and women over the years-- virtually and in person-- who also have this shared experience. Each one is different but they're always the same. I remember their babies, sometimes by name. Now I will remember his, too, and I don't think I'll ever be able to look at him the same way again.