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As human beings, when we allow the beauty and mystery we are surrounded by to be a conscious part of our awareness, life takes on new depth. As a Chaplain, it is a joy to pause for a moment as we celebrate Pastoral Care week, Oct. 22-29, to reflect deeply on some of what I see happening in the hospital. Routine visits become deeply soulful encounters and distressing situations become grace-filled moments. I invite you to celebrate with me some of these moments of beauty and mystery:
I watched a patient’s eyes suddenly brim with tears, as through our conversation she glimpsed for the first time that her life has meaning because she is important, that her value is not just because of what she does for others. Those tears were as precious as diamonds.
I was with a patient on comfort care, who took his last breath moments after I said a quiet prayer of blessing and a family member arrived at the bedside to say one last time, “I love you.” What exquisite timing.
After a long conversation with people who had suffered a tragedy which took the lives of two family members, they thanked me for the visit, saying “Before all we could see was death. Now we see life too.”
In Chaplaincy, words like “meaning” and “presence” are what we are all about, every day. Sometimes the only words that can begin to express what happens are: wonder, hope and gratitude.
Chaplain services are an integral part of the hospital’s commitment to whole person in delivering patient care. A team of twenty volunteers, two interns, two staff Chaplains and three per-deim Chaplains are available to care for patient, family and (as time permits) staff spiritual needs.
We are available 24 / 7. For routine needs, we ask our clinical staff to please enter a referral through our Epic electronic medical records system, or call and leave a message on the office phone at 459-6461. Visitors can ask for us through a nurse or unit clerk or even our front desk ambassadors.
We are truly here to help bring meaning into times of distress and confusion. I would love to hear how you found meaning in your life during challenging times.