Woman: (laying in bed, looking at a man passing the doorway to her room) Who was that?
Chaplain: That is your doctor. He’s going to come visit you to see how you are doing.
Woman: Oh, another doctor!
Chaplain: You haven’t seen a doctor already this morning, have you?
Woman: I mean you, dear.
Chaplain: (chuckling with a smile) I’m not a doctor.
Woman: Yes, you are!
Chaplain: (Thinking she’s getting confused. She has Alzheimer’s.) Oh, really? Well, what kind of doctor am I?
Woman: (grasping my hand and smiling) You are the doctor of goodwill.
People assume that being a hospice chaplain would be depressing; they are wrong. Everyday my patients inspire and encourage me.
Death is sad because it always involves loss, but death also has the potential to spark something good within us. The expertise of the dying is passing on life to another human being — this I am learning.
I receive and hold their spirit as a precious gift.