Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28

Greetings dear ones. My oh my, how time flies. Life is good in Florida...the weather has been beautiful.

A patient of mine reminded me the other day that as he prepares to die, he notices the beauty of everything. So don't wait, notice the little things now. I learn many lessons from those that are living their last days.

I took a class recently, taught by a hospice volunteer, about aromatherapy. We use that alot for patients as there are many proven positive characteristics of the essential oils. Some to relax, some for pain relief, some that simply trigger wonderful memories. I wish I were more of an expert but I am learning. I would never have guessed that essential oils were used in hospices. I also am impressed with the massage therapists that have hands that are gifts to others. Bodies that are just about to give out can feel relief from tension and pain with simple touch.

Last week I was with a patient that was a Buddhist. He was so delightful and we had a wonderful conversation. We found out that we both enjoy writings from Thomas Merton so he wanted to give me all of his 20 books by Merton. It was a wonderful gesture although I cannot take the gift. So he will donate the books to a Chaplain Library and I will take his favorite book as a special gift. Before we were done talking, he asked me if I would join him in a Buddhist prayer. I was relieved when he told me what to do, and he sang the beautiful prayer.

I love being an interfaith chaplain - although I don't always know what that really means. I have learned about Jewish and Islam traditions, I have shared with a Buddhist, a Wiccan, an atheist, many spiritualists, scientologists, and of course, across many, many denominations in the Christian traditions. The amazing lesson is that no matter what faith you have or don't have, at the end of life, you just want someone to show you that they care. My goal is to be able to do that during life as well.

Peace to all...

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