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Tag: Caregiving

Finding Support

Caregiving can feel overwhelming. Whether we’re a solitary companion caring for our loved one or an unsupported professional laboring under a high caseload, it sometimes feels like we’re bearing more responsibility than we can carry.  Contemplative traditions have developed ways of mining deep wellsprings of energy and connection to help us become more effective and sustainable caregivers. One of those spiritual technologies is the practice of touching our essential interconnection using objects and rituals. Let’s look at how we can use this contemplative wisdom in our caregiving. Symbols of Connection Our culture tells us that we are separate. We value…

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Listen – Then Respond

The buzz on my belt brought an adrenalin rush.  The ER was paging and that meant trouble because they don’t call the chaplain when an 11-year-old boy breaks his arm or an elderly woman falls.  They call when death is in the house. I arrived to find Stephen, a middle-aged man, lying on a gurney surrounded by the experienced and efficient ER staff.  A CPR tag-team circulated blood through his lifeless body while others placed tubes and IVs and called out regular progress reports.  After some time, the lead physician said, ‘I’m calling it.  Time of death:  2:14 pm.’  And that…

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Giving and Receiving

It would seem that the flow of care always moves from caregiver to patient. We have skills, they have needs, and assistance flows from us to them. We hover over them at the bedside like water coolers while they lay in the bed and drink from the tap. Seen this way, caregiving is an exhaustible commodity because there’s only so much in the tap and when our patients have drunk their fill, we retreat depleted. But must it be seen this way? Are there deeper truths that contemplative practice can reveal? Meditation practice pulls back the curtain on the boundaries…

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Compassionate Care

This gentle video by Megan Mylan follows Masami Hayata as he cares for both his son and his aging mother.  I was inspired by his tenderness and patience and find myself wondering how we might all learn to offer such loving, attentive care.

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