This summer is the summer of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and it is pretty much all my seminary friends and I can talk about. It is eating my life away. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful–it is an honor to be at the heart of so much vulnerability and I am learning a great deal thanks to my patients and peers. But CPE is a doozy. One day feels like three, even on days I’m not on-call.
This week my supervisor had to put his dog Moses down. Given Jay’s and my recent move to the 1st floor of our building to accommodate our dog-child Pepper, I can appreciate the devotion of a four-legged friend and the tragedy of loosing a pet.
I am dealing with a loss of a different sort–loosing patients. I’ve had one patient die, one patient move to a hospice center to die, and one patient go home to live. Ok, I’ve had lots of patients go home–but the two patients I lost this week (to hospice and home) were two I was especially close with after days and weeks of being together. The patient who went home even called the chaplaincy office and left a voice mail for “Lorena” (as my Latino patients sometimes call me) to say thanks for the care this patient received. I wanted to say thanks back, but staying in touch is not an option.
For as much as I am loosing in CPE (patients, energy, my mind) I am clearly gaining a lot as well. Gracias a Dios.