Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Few Reflections ...

I’ve been very busy putting together our CPE program to launch on October 24 from    1-5PM…so busy that I just haven’t had the time to invest in writing.


But, I want to invest in you today by relating several admission visits I’ve participated in. I have a few reflections that continue to shape my outlook and heart for hospice.


  • The ‘existential slap’ is real.  It is evidenced by the shock of realizing life will soon be over.  Observing the nervousness, lack of focus, and sorrow in the lives of these new hospice patients was heart rending.  Ram Dass once said, “We are just walking one another home.”  How true a statement; however, the type of walking we do with a new hospice patient is often seen by our placing their arm around our shoulders as we support them on their journey. 
  • Negotiating with God and/or man seems to be part of the process for some.  The cancer patient would get well if only she could be part of a transplant program.  This can’t be happening, I’m too young.  I’ll have to get better.  I think I can do that.  Is this negotiating or is this denial?  In the final analysis I’m not sure it matters as this person is suffering deep existential pain which becomes spiritual pain…heart-rending once again.
  •  Admitting the end is near is part of the process for others.  I’m not sure which is more painful to hear.  What I do know is that the cavalry is on its way.  Cornerstone Hospice has what patients need: the physical, the pharmacia, the nursing, medical, and all that goes with it, the social services, and the spiritual.  Amazing how a family nearly breaks down with tears of relief that finally help is on the way.  For me to be a part of such an institution as hospice fills me at once with tears of joy and also a determined focus to provide a team of Chaplains that are known for their loving and practical spiritual support.
    Yes, it’s been a good experience.  I have been following the many patients I saw come into our service.  And, again…yes, our Chaplains are doing what they do best.  For the patients and families I am pleased.

1 comment:

Ed Reese said...

Great reflections, Rich. Even in my limited experience, I've found that it's easy when we deal with these things every day to normalize them and to forget how traumatic they are for the people going through them. Thanks for the timely reminder.
Ed Reese