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Silent Tears - from a Norwegian Hospital
Silent tears hit hospital-white sheets. The young Pakistani mother holds the mask that brings moisture, oxygen and medicine to her babygirls lungs as she struggles against the slime that threatens to suffocate her.
On the walls of the childrens wing in the Akershus Universityhospital near Oslo, bright art shines. Highly skilled and trained personell runs and bikes through the corridors, figures in strongly colored paper tremble in the wake of their passage.
This place should be cheerful.
A doctor makes her second attempt at finding a vein in the arm of my 14 days old girl. No luck. The veins in her head are easier to locate.
Anna cries at every touch. Breastfeeding, the favorite activity in her short life, seems without interest. Sometimes she forgets to breathe, and we must stroke her chest to remind her.
Four days ago I slept fitfully at the same place with another child. Aleksander, my oldest, came to me after bedtime, crying. Every breath hurt.
At the hospital, every conceivable test was taken. X-rays, ultrasound, EKG, CRP, culture growth, urinesamples - nothing was found. Aleksander, who without flinching gets tackled on the soccerfield, cried.The next morning he was fine.
The Pakistani girl keeps struggling. Anna turns grey. Her CRP indicates an infection; a tube in her nose brings breastmilk to her stomach while the IV in her head provides antibiotics and saline.
In a quiet room of the hospital, my body clenches. Tears flood my eyes.
I take two deep breaths. No time for tears. Not yet.
Back in 1997, my wife woke me in the middle of the night. Something was wrong with the five-month old fetus inside her.
A few hours later she miscarried in this hospital.
I wrote a song to the little girl that left us.
Never fly© H.R.Ueland 2003
There are still flowers in the gutter
The sun will rise again tomorrow
I hope you're safe from grief and sorrow
This song might be up at http://www.haakon.nu when you read this.
Be well, all. Take care of yourself and each other.
[My Anna got home from the hospital after a week. Her condition steadily improved. She was probably infected with the Coxsackie-virus - google it, esp. if you've got kids. You do NOT want your kid to get this without knowing the symptoms - it can seriously damage the heart and the brain unless treatments starts very early. And not only can it be fatal - it is a highly contagious condition, infecting through air/surfaces.]
Haakon Rian Ueland is a former columnist of the Mensa International Journal, where this article was first published. http://smartsoftware.org is dedicated to various cellphones and to his column. You can contact him at hueland (at) gmail (dot) com.
Grief - Google News
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If we were to organize a list of the thorniest problems for the bereaved, certainly somewhere near the top would be the question of miracles. Everybody has heard anecdotal stories of certain people who have suffered incredible, life-threatening injuries or illness, but who have somehow recovered against all odds.
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For most people life is a fairly ordinary existence - and when I say ordinary I mean a contented, 'far from perfect' way of life. And that's okay? until something major happens to rock the boat.
Coping With A Funeral
When the death of a loved one occurs, regardless or whether it was expected or not, you will find yourself having to deal with a great number of people. Some you will know closely, others may be complete strangers; all will be claiming some kind of relationship to the deceased.
The Creative Side of Healing
One of the areas where I seem to be placing most of my focus these days is the relationship between creative expression and healing. Something that I have always found to be particularly fascinating is the fact that the words heal, whole and holy all come from the same Latin root.
Recently, the magazine I own and edit got a hate letter that was so full of venom and hostility, it gave me shivers. The ultra-religious lady who wrote it is young and passionate about her beliefs.
In the Blink of an Eye
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We all experience severe heart break at some time in our lives. For many it happens in childhood or adolescence, the time when we are most vulnerable.
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Needless to say, the time after loss is volatile and confusing for most people. Unresolved issues come to the fore and questions we have not answered must often be confronted.
Men and Grief
Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it difficult for men to look for support, and harder again to accept it.
Dads, Life, and Death
When he looked at me, it was clear my father wasn't sure who I was. And as I looked back at him, I wasn't sure who he was, either.
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