My patient invited me to his funeral.
He asked for my phone number so that his daughter can call me when he dies (he’s dying). He asked for my phone number so that his daughter can call me when her daughter, his granddaughter is born – she’s due in August. He might be around. He might not be around. My patient said that maybe I can see photos of his granddaughter, maybe I can see her grow.
He won’t see that.
My patient invited me to his funeral. It felt sacred but not strange. This many months, years into med school, I’ve learned what boundaries are right for me. I’ve learned that my patients – most of my patients, the ones I truly have relationships with – will not cross those boundaries. So I wrote down my phone number and my email. And maybe his daughter will contact me.