Archive for Remembering Names – Page 2

Even Kim Kardashian Matters!

Please read aloud the following list of six “famous*” people:

  • Waris Ahluwalia
  • Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
  • Varaztad Hovhannes Kazanjian
  • Houa Vue Moua
  • Larry Patten
  • Vasyl Virastyuk
  • Maite Perroni
Lights of Love

Lights of Love

Yes, there are seven names. You probably noticed that the guy alphabetically sandwiched between author Houa Vue Moua and actress Maite Perroni was the not-so-famous . . . me!

But wasn’t my name the easiest to pronounce?

Or was it? Read More →

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Speak The Name

us2010Near the beginning of our weekly Interdisciplinary Team Meeting at hospice, I share names.

I read from two lists. The first includes the patients who died a year ago while under the care of our hospice. Then I’ll read the names of those who have died within the last week. With that second list, I’ll gently strike a Buddhist prayer bowl after each name. Its distinctive sound echoes.

Anyone could do the readings. It’s a simple task. However, as the representative from our Center for Grief and Healing (the program which contacts and supports families after the death of a loved one), it’s my job to share the names with colleagues. For several moments there is relative quiet as the medical staff, chaplains, and social workers listen. Read More →

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Named and Known

Once as a hospice chaplain . . .

Several women, including his wife, hovered near the patient.

The home health aide had finished the patient’s bath. The nurse was in the midst of her exam. The homemaker vacuumed the living room. His wife folded laundry . . . and I helped her so we could have a chance to chat.

In order to smainpend quiet time with patients, and not overwhelm a family with too many people, I usually scheduled appointments that didn’t overlap with the rest of the hospice team’s visits. But this was a day where many of the staff arrived at the family’s home at the same time. The patient, a husband and father, rested on his bed. His skin glowed from a recent bath and his clothes were fresh from the laundry. His contented smile lingered. All of the hospice team had been visiting him for weeks. While we were the people who dusted his house, shampooed his hair, prayed prayers beside him, and adjusted his medication . . . we were also, best of all, people he knew on a first name basis.

In one of the most intimate and powerful Biblical moments, Moses stood before the burning bush (Exodus 3) while God’s message was revealed:  Lead the children of Israel from slavery!

Moses hemmed and hawed. God persisted. Finally, Moses blurted, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is God’s name?’ what shall I say to them?” Old Moses’ knees may have been shaking, and sweat from more than desert heat may have dripped off his face, but he stood his ground. Read More →

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