Wednesday, July 24, 2013


In hospice every other week we hold meetings where the entire team comes together to discuss all patient care plans.  These are called IDG, or Interdisciplinary Group, meetings.  During this time the nurses, aides, chaplains, clinical manager, medical director, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers are provided the opportunity to discuss any developments of patients physical, spiritual, psychological, or emotional needs over the previous two weeks.

Before we begin our IDGs at Medi, one of our chaplains usually takes time to reflect on a local or national event which may have impacted us and offer a prayer, song, or reading.  These spiritual moments can help center the team and can give everyone a renewed or unique perspective to take with them through the coming days.

Last week Chaplain Erin was kind enough to share some thoughts about "breaking down" which I would like to share with all of you.  Often times in life we feel special moments passing us by.  There are sights, sounds, smells, conversations, and much more we experience on a daily basis.  We may wish that we could stop time, break down, and hold on to these experiences longer.

It could be a gold, summer sunset.
A long talk with your parent.
The homemade taste of a dinner freshly cooked.
A hug from someone you love.

I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite shows "Mad Men".  In this scene ad man Donald Draper is pitching his idea for advertising a new product Kodak developed to some of the execs of Kodak.  Draper wants these execs to buy into his advertising approach.  The background information on this scene is less important than the feelings it evokes.  Don's words as he flips through pictures of his family can be both haunting and touching, regardless if we know his story or not, because we can relate to his ideas.  Captured in the soft music, smokey room, and Don's voice is a yearning for the past.  The wish to stop time.  To go back and experience things we once had.

These moments can be beautiful, meaningful, and insightful.  And we may wish to hang on to them a little longer than time allows us.  On the other side of these moments is a pain in knowing that they do not last forever.  As if we are passengers on a train chugging down a track, our lives keep moving forward despite the passing of these experiences into memory.  All we are able to do is lock away those memories in our minds and reflect while making the best of the present.  Pictures, songs, thoughts and other things serve as nostalgic tools to bring us back to days gone by.

At the end of her spiritual reflection, Erin shared with us a song.  I share the same song with you here...  And if you are in need of a "breakdown", a little time to stop and take in the moment around you, I hope it comes your way soon.   

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