Stories of Transformation / Fear Melters

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Being authentic and present for those in crisis creates powerful support and comfort

By
Dee

*Transcript*

Hi, my name is Dee. When I think of the Hendricks Foundation, and
what they are accomplishing, I am thrilled. As I so believe in the power
of these tools and their transformation, even in moments of intense crisis
or despair. A lesson I learned early on in my journey was when I was
working as a chaplain intern at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I was on call for ER, and we received an emergency call that a UPS driver
had been hit by another vehicle. And they were bringing him by ambulance.
As his wife was also being brought to the hospital. I went to the ER and
found that as they were working on him, his aorta ruptured in the room
which created an intensely gruesome sight with blood everywhere saturated.
His wife arrived at the hospital, and the doctor informed her that indeed
her husband had died. She and myself and the social worker were taken to
the room with him. She immediately had a lot of feelings come up and I
noticed I was excited because I was with a professional, that this social
worker would know what to say and do. And I noticed the social worker had a
big response to her having feelings and immediately went into, who can I
call. Who can I get to come and be here with you with these feelings.
The social worker then excused herself from the room.

A priest came in. The woman was Catholic and a priest came in, and again I
had that feeling that of relief of, yes, the professional’s here. I really
don’t know what to say in such an environment. The priest came in without
making any connection with this woman, did his role. Performed last rites,
and then left the room. And so I was with this woman, and a lot of emotions
coming up, and the doctor came in and proceeded to want to prescribe her
some medication that would help take the edge off, that would take the
expression of these emotions to actually subdue or repress them even more.
She explained that she really didn’t want that and the doctor left. And so
again it was she and I in the room. In that moment, I had one of those ah-
ha learnings of all of these people came in with things to do to her.
Things to do for her, and the truth is, in this moment, this moment of
tragedy, of crisis, of unbelievable grief, and unbelievable emotions coming
up. She really didn’t need someone do something for her. She needed
someone just to be with her.

I didn’t have the language then to understand, but I do now. Of just that
presence of looping with her, paying attention to myself, looping back to
me. Looping with her with a loving presence, actually was more
transformative for her in that moment than any of the other things that all
of these professionals offered. I have carried that lesson with me in all
the ways of ministry I do in my work, and I’m profoundly grateful for
Coaches Without Borders for I feel that is the work they’re doing that will
transform any response to crisis or disasters. So I’m thrilled, I’m
thrilled of what’s going to happen and emerge and birth with this process.

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