Let’s Make Lemonade

I’ll admit, I hardly watch TV and stopped watching the news and reading newspapers a long time ago.  A bereaved mom shared a TV clip on social media recently and I thought it was worth sharing here.

I warn that it is apparently a “spoiler” if you happen to watch the show “This is Us”.  Even if you don’t watch TV, forget that this is part of a show.  This short clip stands alone  and speaks volumes.  Note that I in no way endorse this TV show or know anything about it so I cannot comment beyond what is in this actual 4 1/2 minute snippet:  This is Us - The Art of Making Lemonade

This clip captured some of the feelings we had when we were told that our baby had died.  We were in shock.  It was difficult to process information and I remember having to ask the same questions more than once before I was able to begin to understand what was happening.

I think about the importance of health care professionals and how sharing personal experiences with patients can help them connect with patients.  After I gave birth to our stillborn son, I was frustrated with all the people that were constantly in and out of our hospital room; upset with all the blood tests, blood pressure taking, questions and decision-making that I was asked to do.  When the shift changed, I held my breath knowing I would have to do it all again with different medical staff and practitioners.

My anxiety eased a bit when I was assigned a nurse who shared that she had also suffered the death of her stillborn baby a number of years ago.  After hours of frustration, I felt safe in telling her that we just wanted to be left alone and only wanted people in the room if it was absolutely necessary.  I felt I could trust her when she explained what medical procedures and paperwork needed to be done and why.

Before her shift ended, she made a point to let me know that even though her first child was gone, she now had a family and that there was hope.  This nurse also seemed to choke back tears when she told me that she was asked specifically to look after me knowing that she had a similar experience.  As well, it turns out my mom who is a retired maternity nurse, trained her a number of years ago and indicated that mom was a great mentor.  When she heard who I was, she wanted to be assigned to me.

I’m grateful for the care we received at the hospital and I applaud the doctors, nurses, social workers and other support staff who go that extra mile  to  relate to their patients on a deeper level.

These brief, yet meaningful interactions where we share our stories of love and loss offering comfort to one another is the reason I’m involved with Elizabeth Ministry.  From one bereaved mom to another, thank you…it is time for me to share this kindness and continue to make lemonade.

Do you want to join me?  Feel free to contact me if you want to start up an Elizabeth Ministry chapter at your parish.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

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