Opportunities for personal growth

Responding to powerlessness

The grief expert says
Dr. Chris MacKinnon provides guidance on how to respond to feelings of powerlessness. (3:22)Video transcript

We’re used to being in charge. We aren’t good at not being able to fix things. – Canadian paramedic

A palliative care call will demand a lot from you, and perhaps nothing is more difficult than sitting with your own feelings of powerlessness. Death is a reminder that at times people have very little control over the circumstances of their lives. You may find yourself taking things personally or taking responsibility for unwanted circumstances and outcomes, even though realistically these things aren’t your fault. 

In a palliative care call, although you may not be able to do what you’d normally do (e.g. save someone from dying), there are many equally important things that you can still do.

See also:Module 7 - Grieving a non-optimal outcomeModule 8 - Forgiveness