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We are all in the same boat.
Whether we’re the patient or the family member or the clinician, we’re all on this boat called Life, rowing to shore.
If you’ve ever been a patient of any sort, you know the feeling of vulnerability and perhaps even fear. I was in the hospital once, in my early 30s, and I was scared to death; I remember that a kind nurse brought me an extra pillow. It was small, but big thing. I remember her kindness these 20 years later.
Ten years in hospice work as taught me many things, chief among them that I am no different from the families and patients I serve. My current circumstance may be different but not my humanity. I, too, know what it’s like to hurt, to grieve, to feel like everything is falling apart in slow motion.
Hospice work simultaneously reminds me that we are not alone in this humanity, whether we’re the one in the bed or beside it. We can’t go through life, or death, alone. We need the kindness of family, and of strangers, someone willing to bring an extra pillow.
~ The Rev. Allison Kennedy Owen is a chaplain at Columbus Hospice