When you receive a hard diagnosis with a likelihood of death, people are glad to tell you what do to. They do it with intense certainty: “Do this treatment. Try this tool. Be courageous. Be strong.” And they do it with the best of intentions and the most anecdotal of data. “This worked for my … Continue reading A working list for life after a difficult diagnosis.
Nobody looks forward to leading funerals. But when a friend or family member asks for your help, it’s hard to say “no”. You can do it. Your words and actions will help family and friends give meaning to this life. And this book will help you find those words, even if you’ve never done this … Continue reading Coming soon: How to lead funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.
“It IS a good morning.” That’s what the minister said. A woman died an hour earlier. Her death was both sudden and unexpected. The family was gathered in a hospital consult room, waiting for the next steps, waiting for the minister. He walked into the room, aware of the death. “Good morning,” said a family … Continue reading Sometimes the morning isn't good.
When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope? You and I both know that question, I'm guessing. I wrestle with it regularly as a hospital chaplain. When I’m called to a room after Eddie hears his diagnosis. When the ambulance brings in 5-year-old Bree. When you hear that the treatment isn't working … Continue reading When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope?
Dr Dave Johnson and I spent some time talking about the importance and nature of hope. We both work in healthcare, Dave as a nurse educator and an therapist, me as a chaplain. We both understand from others and from our own experiences how challenging it is to find hope in the middle of times … Continue reading A conversation on hope
I sat with an old friend, Dave Johnson, for a series of conversations. This one is about pain and grief. https://youtu.be/GgR1p9NeXEs
About 7700 people die each day in the US. That’s what the National Vital Statistics report says was true for 2017. That doesn’t include the one in four or so pregnancies that end in miscarriage. I’m not going to do the daily calculations for those sadnesses. I mention this only because it means that there … Continue reading The cost of my distraction
I've done words for a long time. I've been around funerals and memorial services for a long time, too. I want to give you a lesson that I am constantly telling myself because I keep forgetting it. Here's the lesson: people forget what you say. You can offer the best words, the clearest outline, the … Continue reading The most important lesson for a funeral service.
A couple weeks ago, I experienced the hospital from the other side of the bed. I wasn't the chaplain. I wasn't the patient. I was the patient's spouse. So while Nancy was in the hospital, I was at the hospital. For 48 hours, Nancy was in the hospital, moving from triage to an ER bed … Continue reading What I learned by being in the hospital