I’m working to be helpful in a variety of places. The other Friday night, I offered the following as a series of tweets. +++ It’s possible that someone you know lost a loved one this week. It’s possible that you aren’t sure what to say. As a hospital chaplain, I’ve thought about this a little … Continue reading Resources to help you help others in grief.
You can’t win a debate with dementia. Brains sometimes see things that don’t exist. Or that haven’t existed for thirty years. Or that didn’t actually exist in that way thirty years ago. Brains sometimes forget things that happened six times in the last hour. Or explanations that have been offered every hour for five days. … Continue reading You can’t win a debate with dementia
In the Church, the most familiar prayer may be words that we know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” There are some differences in the English-language versions, most notably saying trespasses or debts and including or excluding the last section. Whatever those difference, the words have their roots in a request a disciple made to Jesus. “Lord, … Continue reading The Lord’s Prayer
The psalms help us when we cannot find words to capture feelings of loss or abandonment or frustration or betrayal or delight or joy or faith. Or when we are afraid to talk about those feelings to God for fear God will be mad at us. Written across centuries, spoken around campfires and in a … Continue reading Ancient prayers: the psalms
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen. Book of Common … Continue reading A night-time prayer
“And as countless nights before, the church, in the midst of my weakness, responded with her ancient voice: ‘Here are some words. Pray them. They are strong enough to hold you. These will help your unbelief.’” Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night (Downers Grove: IVP, 2021), 8. Tish Harrison Warren introduced us many of … Continue reading On praying the prayers others have written.
I’m sorry. Nothing: (Sixty seconds of silence) May I take care of that? (and take the tissue out of their hands and give them a fresh one and throw it away and wash your hands) This is hard. Yes, I remember that time. I don’t know. . whether pets are in heaven . . . … Continue reading 10 simple phrases when visiting in the first hours after a death.
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?
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 my observations as a chaplain and as a human, I’d like to suggest some of the reasons we feel so emotionally hurt when we know … Continue reading I couldn’t be there when my loved one died.