It has been a sad and difficult time. Six deaths in these last two weeks and emergency calls to home, nursing home and hospital. On Monday morning I had two calls and news of the death of someone I had anointed the previous Thursday. Please pray with and for the families.
How do you cope when you are caught up in a similar way, wanting to be in several places at once, wanting to give full attention and concern to each one involved? Sharing time is difficult. The care and awareness are constant, but you have to sensitively move and stay, speak and be quiet, trying to judge best responses.
A lovely girl I taught went into nursing, had always wanted to. Her studies went well and she loved the hands-on nursing. She wrote to me during that training but then came the sad letter: she had been advised to give up nursing. She understood. She gave herself completely to each one she nursed, especially the lonely. She broke her heart over them. I knew that from her letters. She was advised that she would find full-time nursing too difficult because she would not know how to “share” herself. She would break. She knew they were right and sadly gave up her dream.
In family, you must have known times like that, in friendships and even at work. You need to keep everyone in focus, aware of shifting and changing needs, ready for disappointments when you cannot do all you would like to – and being judged for it. Heartbroken parents sometimes tell me how lacking in understanding the (grown-up!) children can be in wanting favouritism, criticising apparent favouritism. Friends have lost friends who, they hoped would understand if they put family or work ahead of them.
I imagine every marriage knows many such moments, feelings of being taken for granted, of being side-lined. Reassurance is a constant need, psychologists tell us; we need to feel appreciated, cherished, cared about and for.
Please pray for the families in their bereavements.
God bless them and us,
(18th August 2019)
Related Link: Fr John’s Parish Newsletters