Every Friday before honoring the passing of those in our care,
I am privileged to offer some thought fodder to my interdisciplinary team (IDT) of nurses, social workers, and chaplains. It's team building; it's quality control; it's lessons learned and it's allowing a place to make sense of the week's happenings for the team.
Hospice's business is serving life at the unknown edges; we don't make widgets;
we support life at its end. Sometimes it gets messy. Most American families don't get practice for this kind of wrenching change and they are not always particularly gracious to us. It happens.
We support them anyway, however they show up...
We support them– however they show up.
We support the dying in a pain-free death. We support those who carry on. But in order to continue do this, we must support each other. It is a sacred business. We do it as a team. Our internal principles require this; our charter from Medicare does too.
Obama quoted Bobby Kennedy this morning, saying that,
"Small anonymous efforts are like pebbles into still water…
ripples of hope that cascade outwards and change the world"
Everyday, we throw our pebbles at the ultimate moving target...death. It is always a lesson in faith that what we did that day was enough. I wanted my team to remember (I wanted me to remember...) that what we do, regardless of the outcome...matters. What we do every day with our pebbles...small or not...matters.
The pebbles of our forefathers (and mothers)...
Our Union was created by a bunch of propertied white guys …showing up with integrity and throwing their pebbles into their waters. We made a new country that agreed to disagree in unity... and those that inherited (or immigrated) kept aiming better with their pebbles:
And this morning… we welcome some more good folks into our common pursuit of happiness – The Supremes said that family is family; love is love. Many good folks said of the day:
Many other good folks do not agree with this for their own good reasons. We as a team, respect them for their differences, as we ourselves are learning to respect their differences.
Keep aiming better...and throwing our pebbles for love to keep winning.
For love to win, we have to keep aiming and keep voting with our small but mighty pebbles into the waters before us. To do so, we need to keep the faith that our efforts do matter.
Thought fodder for you to make sense of the week's happenings.
"What we do counts for something."
My hospice chaplain intern was explaining to me some of her visit preparation for yesterday....
Two Interfaith chaplains were visiting an evangelical Christian family on a Spiritual Care visit. The wife was dying and the husband was at bedside.
“I was reading the bible and brushing up on my evangelical language for the visit. Then I read where a wife in the bible was saying ‘her husband show her his fruits.’ And I said whoaaa. What’s going on here...”
I listened to her and watched her laugh, she was a very good chaplain already. She led with her heart and allowed her head to steer tactical like Einstein recommended.
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have
created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." ~ Albert Einstein
“I think it refers to ‘You shall know the tree by its fruits.’ It's about being authentic, or maybe seeing who someone is over time.
“But if it was …say an almond tree, or really any kind of nut tree, it would be another thing altogether.”
We both laughed. It was a chaplain moment.
At the end of life...laughing for the joy of "this place", feels delicious.
on a Chaplain's life