I woke up with an arrhythmia this morning.  Went to bed with it last night, but now it has disappeared I think.

Too much loss in my life yesterday.  I saw two mothers who had lost their children last year in a row:  neither had seen me before.  One spent the first half of our time yelling at me. She had her reasons:  her son was killed in Iraq.  And she deals with the maimed and broken returning warriors every day in her work.  I usually see her teenage daughter, but she was afraid I was missing some important aspect in how I am treating her daughter…so she let me know what was on her mind…and we talked a long time about her son while the daughter listened and did not move a muscle.

The other mother’s daughter died of an arrhythmia in her sleep.  The daughter was pre-med and her only daughter.  They spent their weekends together frequently at the daughter’s campus townhome.

Like me, she has not been able to remove her daughter’s belongings from where they have been in her home.  The is the first time she has spoken about her grief with a counselor…such an unspeakable reality–knowing that you’ll never see your child, talk with her, ever, ever again.

Then I saw a woman who lost her father and grandmother quite recently:  funny, brave, grieving with every breath and having her first professional pedicure tomorrow!  Then she heads off to the Bahamas for the weekend with her handsome husband–her first break since her beloved father’s death.  She helps caretake her mother and is a full-time vocational rehabilitation worker!  Tough, professional, and looking forward to a getaway.

I ended the evening with a couple who are dealing with the stress of the husband’s potentially lethal neurological disorder and who were struggling with issues of planning for their future in case of his death.  He had to walk out of the session for a while and come back and the last thing he said as we were leaving the office at the end of the night was “I’m sorry I had to get up and leave!”  Now you know and I know he didn’t need to apologize, but he still felt that way–not wanting to show or let his conflicted emotions get in the way of the precious time we have in our session.  It is those emotions and conflicts that are at the heart of our purpose.  But he still, knowing that, apologized because that, too, was how he felt.

I am so blessed to do my work, and it does touch me deeply and now tonight my own heart rhythm is altered in the process.  I will be fine.  I probably got so caught up in the process that I didn’t drink enough fluid.  Who knows?  I had it all fully checked out a year ago by the best specialists in the area.

It’s just one of those things – and it’s just one of those nights…

Look, now the dawn is breaking!

And I am looking forward to this evening with a friend.