These days, and all days, people die and family isn’t present. It’s particularly hard when rules keep people away. But sometimes it’s distance, sometimes it’s relationship, sometimes it’s timing. From […]
I serve at Parkview Regional Medical Center as a chaplain. In that role, all the percentages become people. For example, when a treatment has a 99% success rate, we are […]
Last month, I released a book about how to lead funerals. The book was barely out and my friend Dan said, “Did you remind people to make sure they have […]
I’ve done words for a long time. I’ve talked, I’ve earned three degrees about words. I’ve been around funerals and memorial services for a long time, too. I want to […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I sat with an old friend, Dave Johnson, for a series of conversations. This one is about pain and grief.
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 […]
I talk in patient rooms and hallways all the time about pain and grief and forgiveness. For obvious reasons, there are never cameras. However, our team at Parkview invited Dave […]
How working as a hospital chaplain shapes the way one writer approaches the Biblical text. (Hermeneutics)
As a pastor then, as a chaplain now, I often navigate in a space bounded by positional obligations and patient (and family) expectations, and God’s invitation. So in that space, when it occurs in hospitals (or other places of pastoral care), what does it look like to talk to God on behalf of and in the presence of other people? And, perhaps, to talk to people on behalf of, and in the presence, of God.
What if you and four friends said, “No one is eating alone after a funeral. Churches have meals for members. We’re going to offer meals to families who don’t have churches.” And you became known as the people who were there in the hardest moments of life, not with answers but with presence. What if you provided potluck and pie?
Because I see a lot of death as a hospital chaplain, it makes sense for me to look for ways to help people think about how to make decisions about medical and other interventions near the end of life. How to understand what is going on in the hospital and in the body. How to work within a framework to make decisions. This is a review of books I've been reading.
“What do we do?” The dad was holding the baby. About 30 weeks in the womb, the first 28 of those growing, moving. The last two motionless. Now, this couple was thinking about the services that would honor their child who had no list of accomplishment to eulogize. Here's what I told them.