Sara Lynne Wright

The Freedom of No

“Are you sleeping with her?” my boss asked his second-in-command, the man who’d hired me. The question was asked about me, in front of me. In front of everybody at work.

He offered to move me laterally—neither up nor down, but sideways, to a different job. At his side.

An Unmeasurable Vital Sign

“How do you do it?” my dear friend asks me. A marriage and family therapist, she finds it hard to hear about the physical ailments of my senior patients—all of them over sixty-five, all homebound due to mobility impairment from a serious illness or injury. “I could never do it,” she says. “With my patients, I help them create new beginnings. For yours, there are none.”

Always Time To Check In

“There’s always time to check in,” my supervising physician told me the other day, offering to chat about a patient who was not doing well. Would it be unprofessional to tell her that my problem is wishing I’d checked in not with the patient, but with my friend who’s now gone forever?

I Wish I’d Known

From the computer screen a few inches away, Oliver’s honey-brown eyes gazed into mine in the unadulterated way that only children’s eyes can, matching the directness of his question:

“Is he going to die?”

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