This summer, I was in a chaplaincy internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho, deepening my ability to be present, and increasing my spiritual direction skills with people in a health crisis from all walks of life. It was intense, challenging, emotional at times, and incredibly meaningful. I worked in the intensive care units, medical-surgery, emergency, and had a few visits in labor and delivery supporting anxious Dads whose wives were having complications. In addition to becoming incredibly grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones, I learned what really matters…people…love.
In intensive care I saw two teenage boys tenderly stroke the forehead and kiss the cheek of their mother who was intubated and couldn’t speak. I talked to a man who deeply regretted leaving a woman he loved earlier in his life for a job opportunity. He never loved the same way again. I talked to a woman who ended up in a homeless shelter so she could spend all her money to support her husband in a dementia program where he would be cared for and safe. I met with family members who traveled across the country and from as far away as India at the drop of a hat to see a loved one who had been injured or was dying. I supported deathbed vigils that were expected and those that were unexpected.
In the sick bed and the death bed, people didn’t talk about their in box or the project that needed to be finished at home, they talked about family and loved ones. They talked about taking care of each other, they shared memories of time spent together, their regrets, the nicknames they had for each other. They grieved and prayed for miracles.
I learned how quickly a loved one can be lost – a car accident, an aneurism, a heart attack, a difficult birth, an unexpected complication of surgery. People, those we love and serve, are the most important pillar of our lives. Make them a priority. It all comes down to love.
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC, a former executive and co-founder of Life Reinspired, is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same. Schedule a free Life Reinspired Strategy Session or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.