A Personal Loss: Part One

There are times when things happen suddenly, that we cannot control, such as the death of a loved one, or an accident that forever changes our lives. Sometimes, we can see it coming. Other times, we are blindsided by the event. 

For the better part of the past 25 years, I have been seeing a GP/Psychotherapist in the Leaside district of Toronto. I went to see him yesterday on a scheduled visit. Most of the work that he has done with me over the past quarter century has been psychotherapy. It is a passion in his life and he is good at what he does. An unfortunate series of events has forced him into leaving private practice. 

In reality, I always knew there would come a day when he would retire, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen yesterday. This leaves me with a deep sense of sadness and loss which goes beyond my own personal loss (I have to try to find another doctor and a therapist who is covered by OHIP), but there will be a huge hole left in the Leaside district of the city and beyond, due to this crisis which has been made public, but out of respect for my doctor, I will not discuss here. What happened to him has happened to many other professionals, clergy, lawyers, doctors, anyone who is in the business of treating troubled people

He told me recently that he believes in gratitude. In that spirit, I am so grateful for the many, many years I had the privilege of visiting his office, drinking his coffee, sharing our lives together. It wasn’t just me who shared my life with him. He also shared his life with me over those years. We met at an Anglican church in the downtown core. Our mutual faith, and at times, the differences in our concepts of God and what the world should be like provided the bond for a unique type of doctor/client relationship. Over the years, he treated many members of my family even though they weren’t his clients. When Ontario charged for flu shots, he didn’t. He never charged me for letters, or forms that he hated doing, but knew they were necessary for me to access services.

My heart goes out to him and his family. I may not be part of his family, but he certainly became part of mine. Thank you, my good friend and beloved doctor for your many years of dedicated and selfless service to your community.

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