COVID-19 has placed an extra layer of struggles and stress on Our Lady of Peace patients, families, and staff. During these troubling times, our community works harder together to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care. Our Lady of Peace Chaplains Kate Wagner, Judith Oberhauser, and Jude Franko are part of this community. They are here, along with other trained colleagues to provide support to you during your end of life journey that is being made more difficult by limitations.
Kate says that when the coronavirus keeps you from physically being with your loved ones, spiritual care becomes even more important, and “meaning-making” can be a valuable practice. Meaning making is defined as the process of how people construe, understand, or make sense of life events, relationships, and the self. The way you understand yourself changes as you age. Take at least five minutes every day to sit with yourself, look inward, and ask these questions:
- Where am I with my connection to myself, other people, and a higher power?
- What are my hopes and anxieties today?
- Do I have a need to forgive or be forgiven?
- How do I tell my authentic story to myself today? Am I ready to go? Am I ready to let my loved one go?
We are here to help you process the answers to these questions and find peace. We would also like to share this breathing exercise to help loosen any knots that are in your heart right now. It’s an excerpt from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. It was included in a recent blog by Andrea Tatley, a spiritual healthcare provider in palliative care at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
- Practice loosening the knot in your heart by placing your hands, palm up, in your lap.
- With each in breath, tighten your hands briefly.
- With each out breath, relax your hands till they rest like the tired wings they are.
We’re guessing that your heart is in a bit of a knot right now and growing tighter every day. As Andrea recommends, start with this practice now and pay attention to your heart. Loosen the knots. And, If you need emotional and spiritual support, email Kate Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach her by phone at 651-789-6831.
We want to leave you with these words from our friends at Hennepin Healthcare with hopes that they will bring you encouragement and peace:
May the gift of your hands be a blessing today
Not only to those who know your touch,
But to your own soul, reminding you that your
Work extends beyond your own life across
That of your human community,
And in that love may you be assured of the safety and
Care for those most dear to you: your family and your friends.
Know that a strength will find you at just the time
When you lose faith,
When you wonder where your own next breath will come from.
Trust that joy will come again like a new dawn.
Know that we are all here together.
Find a way to honor the needs of those with whom you share this work.
And express your own needs, to allow for self-compassion.
Take time to find the gratitude. It is always there.
Take breaths and hold onto the beliefs which guide you.