Splanchnology and the Death of a Client

According to Max Lucado, the Greek word for compassion is “splanchnizomai” and medical students know that splanchnology is the study of the gut. A few days ago a workers’ compensation client died of a massive heart attack, and when her husband called to tell me of her death I had that gut-wrenching experience of realizing that a client I really liked, who was 47, and who was just getting back on her feet after a major injury, just wasn’t “there” anymore. It was a sad ending for a truly remarkable lady who deserved a lot better.

Some clients are liked more than others. They are the ones who respect what you do, listen and heed your advice, and work with you to let the facts and the law sift down together to achieve, hopefully, a favorable outcome. Unless there is a known cancer diagnosis I always assume the client will be around to finish up the case; but never assume anything. Because of her unexpected death, I’m going to try to remember that each client has the potential to die prematurely.

Lawyers may not be related by blood to our clients but some clients do seem like family, and when they die I feel like studying splanchnology, looking for relief.