With the semester in full swing and the first round of tests upon us, the vet school routine is back in full swing for all of us. Admittedly, I’ve found it a little difficult to get back into the routine, but I think my mind has finally accepted the fact that we’re not on vacation anymore. However, this post isn’t about vet school… it’s about life outside of vet school.
When you’re just trying to “survive” the semester, it’s easy to forget that life is going on around you. I know for me, it’s not uncommon to go weeks at a time without calling friends back home or family members (except my mom, because she’ll call me at 6 a.m. on a Sunday if I don’t call her). It’s not intentional, but it’s easy to get caught up in the vet school bubble. And then, you get news that takes you by surprise and you’re reminded that life continues around you, whether you’re involved or not (take this as a warning, it’s about to get kind of sad from here).
I was informed a few weeks ago that my great-grandfather has stage 4 cancer, which has metastasized to his stomach and liver. He’s 94 years old and has led a very colorful, rich life, which I take comfort in, but with all of the ups and downs of the last year and a half there’s one thing I haven’t had to manage yet: death and loss.
I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to call and talk to him, but I realized there’s really only one reason I haven’t: it’s the question of what do you say to someone when you know that may be the last time you talk to him? That’s kind of a daunting order for me, and while I wouldn’t call it a “distraction” per se, it’s been difficult to focus. Of course we all know that everyone’s time will come, but it doesn’t make it any more palatable.
Sometimes I do wish life would stop while I’m in vet school. But since that’s impossible (unless someone works out time travel technology), I’ll leave you with this: If you’re thinking about someone, call them. If you love someone, tell them. Chances are, they’re actively trying not to add “stress” to your life, but that’s a lot better than missing the things going on around you. Just a thought.