From the letter of an anaesthesiologist, former student and friend of Sr. Letizia CJ (Provincial Superior of the Italian Province)

Featured Image

It is a difficult time, I am under great pressure, I have let myself be taken over by this pressure, so now is the moment to express what is inside of me….

We got this wave of patients suddenly, without being ready either as an organization or psychologically … sealed in those incredibly tiring, cumbersome, warm overalls for hours on end, without drinking or eating or even going to the bathroom. A crazy discomfort.

You do not know how many people I have seen crying from stress! Doctors and nurses. Then there is the fear of getting infected and infecting their families… I have cried. I have not slept… anxiety does not set me free… 

The sick die, we speak with family members only over the phone. Patients on the wards are all in their protective suits. They look at you in terror, they do not understand, they ask if they will die… Despite it all, something inside me makes me feel alive and “deeper”. I cannot find the words to describe this time, so I steal from “your” vocabulary: “this is a time of grace”… a time that forced me into the heart of my heart. A time in which energy, vitality, emotions, feelings circulate… A time that, although full of worries and tiredness, is rich. A time when we are forced to come to terms with who we really are, with what we want to do and be. It is also a time of silence … a necessary silence.

It is a time for mystery and meaning. A time of union between me and within me. It is time to rely on each other. It is the time of courage to ask and to give. It is the time to rely on Him and this time not to ask, but to thank Him for this “powerful” time I was given. I say it softly, quietly, out of respect for so many people who have died without their loved ones nearby. They died, with us at their side, all of them covered, disguised and touched only by cold, aseptic gloves. I will not forget some faces; I will not forget the fear of dying in their eyes.

To be thankful for this time seems irreverent and who knows, maybe it is, and yet… that is how I feel.

Carla Bellone