Bad News

I have to break bad news to you

I am quite apprehensive, it’s true

I don’t know your current state of mind

I doubt you’ve previously received news of this kind

Intuitively I think you know something is wrong

That worsening shortness of breath you’ve had all along

Has to be more than a cold-this you’ve realized by now

My responsibility is to tell you the diagnosis and explain how

Grim your prognosis is- to be honest

This is the part of my profession I detest…

There is no way I can predict your reaction

Worse, I only have 15 minutes for this interaction….

**

I know it sounds harsh, but I have to be clear

Sugarcoating the diagnosis would be unhelpful, I fear

The harsh truth may not register if I start

With something positive, because that’s what you would take to your heart

I know for the bad news to sink in, time you need

I wish I could spend some time commiserating with you, indeed

In euphemistic terms I could have disguised

The bitter truth, but that would be unwise

In order to move forward this hurdle has to be crossed

Accepting your diagnosis does not mean all has been lost…

**

In a world where we are socially conditioned to be polite

Talking about life and death plainly does not seem right

Yet, to formulate a treatment plan that works for you

The truth of the diagnosis you and I have to go through

**

The diagnosis I’ve told you, now I wait

For your reaction to this news unfortunate

Now is the time when you need from me

A patient ear, some time, and empathy

Available options for treatment I can present

When you are ready, you have understood the diagnosis unpleasant..

One thought on “Bad News

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