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The Constance of Change

My daily work is teaching me that change is the only constant in my life.

Things do not go according to my calendar on many days, and today was one of them. I’m learning that change gives me an opportunity to think, to pray, to be creative, and to listen.  If I’m open to learning these needed lessons, that is.

I thought I was going to start today with a staff meeting, send applications to potential students for our summer Clinical Pastoral Education Program, attend a committee meeting on Patient Satisfaction, and supervise one of my volunteers in her work in one of our ICU waiting rooms.

I’m learning that some days, one out of four is not so bad.

A call came into our office about an employee who died suddenly during the night, and the co-workers needed support.  I spent a few hours with caring, medical professionals who were in shock and grieving.

And yet they had to continue taking care of their patients and families as if today was the same as yesterday. But it was not the same.  A person they loved for decades was not at their side according to the schedule posted on the door.  Just yesterday, this co-worker was doing her job with expertise and compassion, teasing her colleagues, and going home to her husband and children.  But today was different.  Very different.

When you are a patient or family member, it is easy to forget that the medical staff standing in front of you are people with lives, issues, and feelings too.  We are all the same.  Some days we are patients, some days we are medical professionals.

But every day, we are part of the human family.  We love, we die, we grieve, too.

And so today, I reflect on what this change can teach me.

How does this change the way I think or live?  How do I pray for my colleagues?  How can I be creative in my compassion and care of them?  And how can I listen to what they can teach me?

God help our patients, families, and today, especially our employees.

God’s peace, comfort, and strength to all of you.

One Response to “The Constance of Change”

  1. robert gammon says:

    We had a similar experience here in December with the death of a choir member (45), by suicide on a Wednesday morning. Truly, it was an extremely difficult time for the choir members. However, they remained faithful to the task at hand, the christmas music dress rehearsal. Then, they had to sing at his funeral on Friday. They concluded their week by singing the Christmas music on Sunday morning for the family of faith at FBCC.

    It was a good reminder that everyone handles grief differently. Some put off their grief until the next week; while others sang and cried through their grief at the funeral and Christmas music. The different stages of grief continue to be traveled on different time lines. However, we are traveling the road together. Hoping that our tears of sorrow will soon turn to tears of joy for having known the gift of life lived among us!

    Postscript: Another choir member just died last week (25) from a single car accident. Now the choir is dealing with overlapping grief. Like your hospital staff, as a leader, I am not used to being on this end of things very often.

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