Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Hanan Budeiri, MD, has witnessed “limitless expressions of courage, goodness and gratitude” that were “bright, raw and beautiful.”
Dr. Budeiri also has learned poignant lessons about gratitude from the many COVID patients she’s cared for — especially the first: As his vitals dropped and he struggled to breathe, she recalls asking if there was anything he wished for at that moment.
“He stated, ‘I will give anything to enjoy the breeze on my patio while watching my grandchildren play.’ I offered Zoom or FaceTime, but he said, ‘It’s not the same.’ I tried to console him and his family but could not offer what mattered to him most. After his passing, my patient’s family insisted that I helped him and were sincerely grateful; their grace and his legacy filled my heart with love and hope, enough to share with many others.”
“Although I took care of many sick patients over the years, COVID-related severity, isolation and barriers seemed to impact all involved differently and more acutely,” she adds. “Such encounters are constant reminders of the impermanence of the blessings and beauty surrounding us: our loved ones, the air we breathe, the sky, earth and all in between.”
It is hard to pinpoint who or what I am most grateful for; that would be like choosing one rainbow color as more beautiful than the others or the sum of all.
Dr. Budeiri’s gratitude list includes patients and their families; frontline healthcare workers; and last but not least, families, wives, husbands, companions, siblings, parents, children and many more for enduring unexpected burdens, too numerous to count.
The pandemic has instilled “an unconditional sense of gratitude, forgiveness and peace” in Dr. Budeiri. “In today’s terms, I think of gratitude as a form of protective PPE, deflecting negativity and leading to holistic wellness and serenity.”