After I jumped into a relatively surprising on-call, I met a kind family during the long night. Just days later, the small futures we spoke softly about came true.
As in many cases, I don’t see families once they’re gone. I “say it all” when we’re together because that’s all we have. I’ve learned to be fully me, to minister with my best skills, to discipline myself to what’s true to that moment. When the moment is gone or the family has discharged, they’re gone.
But I often want to keep speaking with them when things change. When they’ve left and I haven’t seen them again. It may be truer to say that I always “have more to say,” not that I want to keep speaking with them. My view is that I have said all that I need to say usually. But that’s another post.
For one family that I met last Friday late, I want to say in short-form: It doesn’t always matter what you did or didn’t do. At least, in this moment, it matters that you’re here, now, in this moment. It matters that you’re facing this current set of challenges. There will be time for all your befores and all your afters. I want to sit with you and hold this moment.
Of course, your past matters. The unresolved always matters. But you will get to that. For now, for right now, sit in this moment. Feel the bones of your bottom in the chair. Take the breath that you haven’t since you heard the news, since you rushed to the hospital, since you left and, days later, returned for this seeming goodbye.
Sit in this. You aren’t alone. I’m here. And when I leave, someone else will keep the care going.