There is a button on everyone’s remote control that can at any time mute any electrical device that makes a sound. It’s there and we can use it. We don’t always mute things. We have all grown accustomed to the noises around us. Being around a device emitting any sound keeps us distracted, engaged, and connected.

Death is an irreversible mute button. It leaves behind a bewilderment of emotions, a tearing separation of souls, a loss of interactions that once were, a silence that is deafening. Once pushed, a person is blocked from life. We cannot engage with them. I have questions that are left unanswered, events that I cannot explain to the family of a lost one, to my coworkers and to myself. Unsaid things can never be shared, and unfulfilled connections can never be restored. I have to go deep inside me to find a reason behind what just happened, how they felt, what they last shared before they got silenced. I have to work my emotions through the grief of loss, balance my mind to help someone else and continue to live on through the perils that life still has for me.

I try to imagine a life after the loss of a loved one, where only the living participate, and life must produce from its sole ingredients the answers to those who are no more; answers that even challenge the scientific mind and the soul.

“Why go on?”

Every human life lost to cancer has its toll. To me I struggle with the question, “how to get up and do this again?” I don’t mute my feelings, or block my emotions.  They travel with me, and sadness does overcome me many times over.

Together with those who have felt a loss, I get up.


11 thoughts on “Mute

  1. Thank you Mo,
    You are amazing and truly a gift to the University of Iowa. I owe everything to you and your staff. Without you I would not be here today. Thank you for not turning your mind to Mute. We all love you.
    You are my amazing doctor of science Mo and we love you all!👍🏻❤️

  2. I find the mute buttom before time of death becomes gradually silenced sometimes from the patient, as well as family and friends? A gradual withdrawing where sound is coming from a distance ,more quiet less distracting. I question if this is the transition of departure, I ponder this thought when meeting with loved ones with cancer and other terminal illnesses.

  3. Thank you Dr. Mo for all you do to help us see all sides of cancer not only for the patient, but on the side of medical professionals like yourself who go through the process with us. Your words are a reality that all the printed materials do not seem to get right. Thank you for your undeniably caring heart for all who you come in contact with. We are blessed to have you fighting the fight right alongside of us.

  4. Thank you Dr. Mo for your incredible compassion for all of your patients! Your willingness to continue the journey with so many is such a gift! Getting up day after day, as challenging and hard as it can be, keeps us all going! We are so thankful for your strength, medical knowledge, and very genuine concern for all of those you care for!

  5. Mo, your fighting reminds me that this ugliness called cancer is not just a disease to you, it’s an enemy and this illness is not just an illness, it’s a battle, one that your not willing to give in to and let win and I and many, many other thank you for that. I know that you won’t stop fighting until you find a cure for this black beast that steals the lives of so many and leaves emptiness and heartache in its path and that what makes you such a great doctor and wonderful and compassionate man. A million thanks for all you do!

    Diane Hudson
    Steve Yates sister
    (Steve Dod 4/28/2011)

  6. Yes please keep getting up. Your remarkable MO. Beautifully written piece and so true. It been 4 years since Marcus passed but it still feels like yesterday. Again keep getting up. We need you. Love, Pam Tschantz (wife of Marcus Tschantz)

  7. We are so very grateful that you fight along side of those battling this horrible desease. Keep getting up Mo, and one day this battle will be won!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s