antoniaterrazasLast week a sweet patient of mine died. On my first visit with her, we talked about her love of plants. I told her about this one--I have nearly killed it about ten times, but it keeps coming back. She said, "I think it's trying to teach you something." At that time, we prayed for God to give her strength for the journey ahead, to walk with her--she told me she was ready to fight. The next week, I knocked the plant off my window, and half the dirt spilled out. Cursing, I scooped what I could back into the pot and replanted. I stopped by her room to tell her about it, and we talked of other things. I wonder if she sensed she was fading. "I hope my little plant makes it," I rolled my eyes at my own clumsiness. "Oh, I hope it does for you too, baby," she labored. I was surprised to hear she died a couple of days later, in a bright corner room with her partner and family. I hope she knew that they were there with her. I wonder about my prayer with her, and how I didn't know what journey I was really praying for. In other news, I'm happy to report that my little succulent seems to be doing fine. #chaplainlife
- sammysnackAs a case manager, I've grown familiar with death in a new way, but it still affects me differently each time. Peace to you as you find your way through.
- jennsteynI echo @sammysnack, peace with you as you grieve the loss of this patient and ponder the gift of your time together. As for the plant, succulents are pretty hardly, I have the three I bought when I first started therapy in 2008. They've grown immensely and I've been able to start the one I have on my desk and give pieces away. They're kind of like the life of chaplain, they grow, they break and those broken places can root and find new life, we just never know the when and how.
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