It has been a while since I have written. I’ve just been coming home from work so tired, that I couldn’t even think about writing, even though so much has been happening.
It is crazy to me to think that it has been a little over a month since I have returned to the US. I am not sure if it feels like forever ago or very recent. There are parts of my life there that I can’t even imagine. Friends that I would see all the time, I rarely speak to. It is not because of lack of trying, but because of time differences and how much they like speaking not in person. There also the people I would see on Shabbat in shul, but would never see otherwise.
I am not yet living in the city, so it is still hard to find a friends network. I am so tired after work that I just go home, but it also means that I am not meeting people. I know that will happen soon.
I’m not dating A any more,which is actually sad. Although as time goes on, I am ok with it. The less we talk, the less connected I feel to him. I know that at some point I will want to date again. Having never really been in this situation, I don’t know how long to wait to date again. Or what it means that he still talks to me and thinks he made a mistake. I do know that I will not intentionally wait for him. I do not want a year of not dating, because of a “what if”- that I am done with.
And then there is CPE. It is wonderful. Yes, I come home exhausted, but my time int he hospital I am very happy. It is amazing to do something I have been doing, but this time it is actually my job.
Some things are new and different from what I am used to- mainly praying with other people. It is interesting that people just want a prayer, and they want me to make it up. They want to sit at the bed side and hold hands. They believe in something, and beleive that because I am a chaplain that I can create a holy space for that. What I find even more beautiful/touching is after our praying, they want to pray and bless me. They thank God that He sent me to them.
Today was a bit of a difficult day though.In the ICU a patient died. The staff did everything in their power, but he still died. The family was in the space, and the mother was screaming and crying. It was quite intense in the space, and to be honest I didn’t know what to do. I was really happy that two other chaplains were in the space, and I was able to follow them.
Another patient that I actually was in touch with who was supposed to be discharged, signed a DNR yesterday. I was called into her room because she was not doing very well. It was a really interesting experience, because as soon as I walking into the room the husband seemed happy and said “Yes, my chaplain is here. Come and pray with us.” After only meeting them once, I was “his chaplain”. I wish there was more that I could do or something better for me to say. He will lose the love of his life, his partner of 49 years.
I am happy in the hospital, and I try to bring that happiness with me. I love talking to people. I love listening to people. I know that they are all going through a hard time, and I know that there is nothing physical that I can do to help them. But I do know that people need someone who is neutral, someone who is not running around, someone who does not care about their sickness unless they want to share or talk about it, someone who is calm to just listen to them and to just be there, for them- and that is my job.
I hope that I continue to have the strength throughout the summer. I hope that I will continue to be able to provide the care and compassion. I hope that I will continue to have the energy to bring about warmth and love.