Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thoughts on Death and Dying and Health Updates
Hi, healers! I have been super busy, especially now that the orientation of my hospice/hospital field placement is over, and I am acquiring my independent case load. My first written up and completed psychosocial assessment at the agency was called "beautiful," so I think I am starting off strong this school year :-) So far, my tasks are psychosocial assessments, support and counseling for families and patients in the home setting, inpatient setting, and oncology unit, and the facilitating of therapy groups, particularly children's bereavement at the moment. I am learning so much from my supervisor, who is compassionate with a brilliant mind, and the other social workers on the unit. It is a really an incredible team to be a part of, making the work environment ideal.
Each time I explain to someone that I am working in a hospice/hospital setting, I get the same reaction, which is, "That must be so depressing. I couldn't do that," when in fact, it is the total opposite. Through disease, I have learned so much about myself in the past six years, and now through death, I am learning so much about life.
To be sitting next to someone who is actively dying and who knows he/she is actively dying (They may have 6 months or two weeks to live.) is a deeply profound and spiritual experience for me. It is where I feel the transitory nature of life and recognize that our bodies are only places to house the soul for a short time. We are not our physical bodies.
Through death, life has become MORE precious and beautiful to me. At 25 years old, through illness, I have been forced to examine aspects of myself, life, and my relation to others, the world around me, and beyond, which most people never do in several lifetimes. Facing death and terminal disease at my placement has allowed me to go deeper into these examinations, creating even more love and appreciation for my time on this earth in THIS body.
As I mentioned above, working in this agency is a deeply profound experience for me, and it has only been a month. I feel my growth will know no bounds by the time I am done next summer. I sense many spiritual awakenings coming, so stay tuned and keep up with my journey. I think you each will benefit from my experiences in your own ways.
As for my physical health, I am doing SO well. Better than I ever imagined. Still not 100%, but I am able to function at the level I need to right now without any pain medications. To give you an idea of where I am, I still can't "exercise," but I can perform my daily duties without being in excruciating pain or taking any opiates. My field days are extremely demanding (hospitals are HUGE. lots of walking and a long commute), but I continue to defy the odds. You know me! At this rate, I will be in full remission in no time!
I am sending prayers out to all of my healing friends xoxo