A message to our future doctors
by Mary

Mary shared a quite recent and very traumatic episode in her life. Her husband had not been in the best of heath for many years and was undergoing a routine investigation under anaesthetic. Mary arrived to collect him – to find alarms ringing, clinicians running around and feared the worst.

She said ‘I will never forget the face of the doctor who told me what had happened – I knew immediately from his facial expression that there was nothing else that could have been done that he would not have done. That doctor’s face stayed with me for months, and I can still see it now.’

Despite the tragic loss of her husband, Mary found comfort in this clinician’s compassion and she wanted the medical students to know how much it meant to her.

At home she began to draw roses – flowers which she and her husband had shared a great fondness. She recalled a print of the painting ‘The Weeping Rose’ they had purchased together many years previously and began some drawings in her sketchbook. In the next session, she combined a broken, dried rose with the pin-pricked outline of a dove on white card, telling us that this combination symbolized how she was trying to bring peace back into her life.

Brooklea Creative Arts for Health, 2011