Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hospice Happenings

A bit of a challenging day today at hospice because I got caught up between two sisters warring over their mom's faith (all were Christians; this was Protestant vs. Catholic.) I had tried a more inclusive prayer about light in darkness bringing comfort, but one sister wanted me to pray aloud at the bedside in support of her specific beliefs to let her sister know she was wrong and because she didn't believe her mom had truly converted. Whew. Don't ask me how I addressed it; it was messy and I have much to learn. I did manage to diffuse the situation by asking the passing guitarist to play some spiritual songs. They might not see eye-to-eye on theology, but they took refuge in the same songs. Still, I felt dissatisfied--just ugly in-fighting at the bedside all wrapped up in religion. I think if the one sister wasn't so afraid she wouldn't need to cling so hard to being right. And of course, I'm one of the last chaplaincy volunteers there who would be interested in which one was right.

I was pleased to see, in the midst of all the conflict, a crocheted blanket I had just donated on the patient's bed opposite us. Just a little subtle encouragement.

Some days are down, some are up. I'd had a really positive interaction on Monday, when I entered a patient's and met a visiting family member who was Deaf. We had a nice little chat in ASL about how they were celebrating the holidays with the patient and how I learned sign language. I was proud of myself because I sometimes have difficulties following long sentences but could understand everything he said. Yay!

And I received another compliment on my piano playing, this time from one of the music therapists. It certainly encourages me to practice more.

I have a two-week break because of the holidays, which will be great R&R. Then I'll be gearing up for my CPE which starts at the end of January.

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