As I walked into my hotel room, room number 105, at 11.30PM , on my bed was kept this long piece of card. It read “ Feed my soul”. I was just finishing a very tiring and difficult week. It was a mixed week personally and professionally. The words “Feed my soul,” gave me the kick for introspecting on those days.
I met two of my close relatives fighting for life in the hospital. I was observing how tough it is for bystanders to negotiate the visitors and convey what is happening with the patient. These two visits were very different. In the case of one, I could not meet the patient as it was restricted and I managed to sit with their family and did not utter much except that I was thinking about the patient in their good old days. Sitting next to his son also made me realise how he has to shape his own world. We discussed about his studies( I didn’t know what to discuss with him). I noticed that I behaved differently with the folks, as most of time I was only observing and thinking of their family and hoping that the family gets the courage to go through this crisis.
The other visit was difficult in the beginning. I was constantly in touch with one of my relatives on the state of this patient’s health. I met the patient and I sat there for an hour. Again I spoke less ( I didn’t know what all to discuss). I was observing and was trying to change the ambience with the bystander. I was happy when he told me about Stephen Hawking who did not give up in life. That was the parting line and I promised that we will stay in touch and I will get lot of books for him to read on the subject of Physics.
The hospital environment brings back old memories, as our house in Trivandrum is in the middle of 2 hospitals. Everytime we had a relative admitted to the hospital in those days, morning tea was from our house and the hapless delivery boy was yours truly. In retrospect I am happy that my mother did the right thing, I did my best to support them and by meeting them often in the hospital, my mother showed how much she cared.
Hospital visits to meet patients fighting for their lives saps your energy. There is one section of people praying for his recovery and another section praying for his family’s recovery. Both of them are right and at heart they both care about the person. On the other hand there is too much negativity in such situations if you do not control it. Some people revel in talking about the absolute worst case scenarios and others want to keep blaming everyone for not having done things at the right time. Hindsight is always 20/20!
In my mind, thanks to my self awareness (Black and White wolves), I chose not to respond to the black wolf and was able to flip the conversation to something we can look forward to and will be useful for us.
After a melancolic trip, I wanted to feed the white wolf aspect of my soul. The way I did that was to proactively engage with “new people,” set up a context and then hopefully engage in a conversation. I had started with my Hi-Bye list and started interacting more. Last week I met one of my Hi-Bye friends and we walked a few rounds together. At the end of the walk we exchanged phone numbers.
After the two hospital visits, I recollected all the memories of them in their hey days and I respect and thanked them for what they had done for me and family. I was not interested to just be there and show people how much I care in that state. I was feeding my own soul.
In fact I always believe we should care more about people when they are in their good health. My formulae for feeding my soul is about meeting , visiting and doing things for people when they are in their best of health and not just visiting them when they are sick. When they are not well, the only thing you can do is to be around them support them and their families and remember the good times.