You work codes and unfold sheets. You put your arm around onlookers and family members and guide them away. You listen to them in the hallways of the ER. Wiping their eyes roughly with the heel of a grimy hand, going over and over the last thing they said, yesterday morning when they fussed at him for getting into the sugar.
Whether we want to admit it or not every death takes its little dig out of us. Every shattered helmet and flat green line and 'unknown downtime' puts a little dent in the armor, every LODD takes the whole works up and shakes it with a rough, unmerciful hand. So every now and then I just have to sit down and cry for no one and everyone, for the things that could have been prevented and the things that could not be helped. I have to gently place them all in a little paper boat and set it adrift; leave that red pillar shining in the quiet of the church for all the broken hearts and empty places at the table.