While waiting, I experienced a new way of life...a hospital waiting room. I have spent a lot of time inside the hospital for work, but I have spent very little - if any time in the waiting room. When I go to a waiting room as a professional, I typically accompany the doctor, social worker or chaplain. It is almost 100% of the time to provide support after upsetting news is given. But then, after my work is complete, I can leave.
While waiting I watched. I watched people from all different walks of life attempt to make some sense of their day. I watched and I learned. To some this waiting room had become a place of refuge. To others it was an opportunity to be unknown. And for some it was a meeting place to catch up with friends and family in hopes of forgetting the previous hours, days or weeks of living within those four walls.
This waiting room is a hard place to be in and a space that I do not hope to go back to. Each person has a story and whether they force a smile or stare blankly ahead, they are doing the best that they can in that moment. And while it is my instinct to offer support or strike up a conversation, this time it was much more powerful to just watch.