Archive for Prayer

You’re in My Thoughts & Prayers

I will keep you in my . . . thoughts and prayers.

I’ve said that phrase. I’ve written it to those who have experienced death or disaster.

Isn’t it a good phrase? While it’s become a cultural cliché, isn’t it also a true enough and honest enough—but never adequate enough—response when another is hurting?

Thoughts? Please, invite in the agnostics and atheists, along with the cynics and critics. Everyone, even the most self-centered or isolated, thinks about others. Especially when tragedy befalls individuals, groups, or regions, we think about them. Mostly, people wish to share kind, tender thoughts. Often, we have no idea what to say, other than to express some form of hope.

Prayers? In our multitude of faith traditions with dramatically different beliefs, prayer is common ground. One believer may openly pray to “change” the ways of the divine or human subject. Another’s prayer may be expressed silently to “lift up” or “honor” someone. And a third may recite a formal prayer or sacred, ancient text. There are many diverse forms of prayer and praying.

Public events inspire our reactions . . . Read More →

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A Hospice Patient’s Hand-Me-Down Gifts

We can never experience what another touched, heard, smelled, tasted, or saw.

For example, I’ve been with friends that ordered a favorite dish at a restaurant and asked me to give it a try. Just a bite!

“Delicious, right?” my table companion gushed.

Not really, I concluded after a nibble. If I’m polite, I’ll mumble thanks for the, for me, underwhelming cuisine. My taste buds are different than yours; yours different than mine. It’s the same with all of our senses and sensibilities. Variety, don’t they say, is the spice of life?

Or can we experience another’s perspective? Even in hospice? Read More →

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Dying in the Middle Room

a renovated suburban house with several rooms...

A renovated suburban house with several rooms…

The patient was restless.

An ambulance brought her to our hospice’s home—a renovated suburban house with several rooms—for pain management. She was also close to death. The only local family for the seventy-something woman was a granddaughter, overwhelmed by raising her kids and trying to be her grandmother’s caregiver. The patient’s siblings had already died. The patient’s daughter was, again, in rehab. A son, an Army officer, was traveling from somewhere in Europe, hoping to see his mother before she died.

[For disclaimer, click here.]

Right now, in the hospice home, in the middle room with its two beds, there was only the dying, restless patient, a nurse, the doctor, and the chaplain. One bed was empty. But the second bed, where the patient lay, shifted with her unsettled body, with her soft random moaning, with her eyes opening and closing. Read More →

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