Each week, part of my chaplaincy training is to write a reflection on how it’s going. Here’s week number four. Some identities may be altered for privacy. All the writings are here.
I kept hearing stories in snippets, and I wondered about the whole thing.
There was a man who had survived stomach cancer, car accidents, a gasoline fire, a broken skull, and a direct hit by lightning.
A woman who suffered a heart attack because her mother and brother had died within weeks of each other.
Two different women, one young and one old, who were once very successful but kept burning themselves with flammable fluids because of the demons in their head. “I can’t help it,” one said. “I don’t know why I do this,” said the other.
A woman who was obviously abused by her husband, who wanted to stay longer in the hospital because she was afraid of the monster at home: but she wouldn’t admit what was happening.
I sat with a mother who was holding her baby in her hand. We had been called to NICU to offer a final blessing and a baptism, but we were too late. The baby had coded. Her lungs had become like melted wax and she couldn’t breathe on her own. She barely fit her mother’s palm. I wondered about the story she would never get to live. I wondered about God and why and “His Will” and the meaning and a reason and a crushed future and how life could keep going after this. I wanted to talk with the mother but the mother didn’t want to talk and I thought that was okay. Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes the stories are told in silence.