I was literally hero-struck upon meeting Helen. I could not fully comprehend her faith in improving a system that had so tragically failed her. She stood at the front of the room, so calm and receptive, when I am sure most people would have reacted with complete hysteria and outrage. Her presence meant so much, because it indicated not only her profound love her son, but also her additional care and concern for helping other patients and families.
While sharing the finer details of Lewis’ passing, Helen mentioned the silent chaplain who quickly scattered away after making a brief remark. I found myself identifying with the chaplain. The story felt so heavy and so sad. I could feel my eyes watering up, but I stopped myself from crying. Anything that came to mind just did not sound like an adequate response. I felt/feel bad for not approaching Helen after the film discussion. I am writing out my emotions now in the hopes that someone may reply with further suggestions on how to talk to someone who has lost a loved one due to medical error.
Helen, I am so grateful for your dedication and contributions. Thank you for sharing Lewis’ legacy with me today.