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(118 Stories)

Prompted By The ER

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It was a cold night in early January.

We were mostly silent, except for her husband, who cried softly

Our friend had been missing for over twenty-four hours.

We sat in the waiting room of the ER as our friend was treated

For the overdose she had taken.

We were mostly silent, except for her husband, who cried softly,

Asking and asking “How could she think that I would be happier without her?”

Profile photo of Dave Ventre Dave Ventre
A hyper-annuated wannabee scientist with a lovely wife and a mountain biking problem.

Tags: ER, emergency, suicide, chronic illness
Characterizations: moving


  1. pattyv says:

    Sad, Dave. Perfectly captured. “ We were mostly silent, except for her husband, who cried softly.” So glad you were there for them both.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Haunting, Dave. In a few sentences, you gave us the full picture.

  3. What a sad memory you’ve shared Dave, so sorry for your friend’s tragic story.

    • Dave Ventre says:

      It was sad, but she did pull through, only to be diagnosed some months later with one more in the series of neurological maladies that had dogged her for a decade or so. This last one proved fatal in late 2020.

  4. Searing, powerful, evocative.

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    You say so much with your spare words. Beautiful writing, painful story.

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    You tell a powerful story in few words. That’s a real achievement for a writer.

  7. Your powerful story hit me hard. I could not only read it, but heard it. There is no preparation for the inevitable and no response that is calming or soothing for the family. If I had become a medical doctor, I would have absorbed the suffering without any buffer. Thank you for giving me some space.

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