Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 327–328 | Cite as

“I Was Never Loved Enough”

  • Paul RousseauEmail author
Healing Arts: Materia Medica

She sits bedside, wearing a tousled wig, with sweat-wet crescent curls pasted to her forehead. She’s skin and skeleton, most of her weight despair.

“Dying’s hard doctor, so many bad memories, and no time to make new ones.” Her words are slow and flat, with a rattle of phlegm. “But memories are what we make them, and time changes how we see them.”

“I agree,” I say. “Time stretches memories to fit our needs.”

“But some memories never change, they’re as you remember them. My family didn’t have anything, just tough times and ugliness. And that’s the truth.”

She dips a washcloth in a basin of water and wets her parched lips. I watch as she wipes the crusted skin. Her face catches my attention. It’s pale and empty, with hollow, dinner plate eyes framed by glass-like bones.

“All us women got married young and birthed babies, that was our job, and once the babies were big enough, we’d work the register at the truck stop, or flip burgers at some grease pit, or waitress at the Waffle House, or...


Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Palliative CareCharlestonUSA

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