Narrative Nursing

It Should Only Be Happy… Right?

I spoke at a large hospital recently. After my presentation a young woman hung to the side until most every one was gone until she approached me quietly with a question.

She works in the NICU. She loves her job and treats each baby with tender care. She recently found out she is pregnant and while both her and her husband are thrilled, going to work has become difficult. Not because she is worried about all that can go wrong – she says she knows the odds and has dealt with that before she conceived – what more caught her off guard is how she is feeling so much joy – and holding the hand of people in so much pain. She wants to continue to offer them comfort and stay in her position, but she is afraid that as her tummy gives away her condition it will cause parents increased grief.


How do you deal with the difficult balancing act of holding both joy and sadness? As humans we have a huge capacity to rip open our heart and feel love and sorrow and grief and peace all at once – but it’s confusing. And at times overwhelming. How did you first deal with processing your own pain or joy – in the face of others loss?

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