People ask if Hospitals in the 21st Century need a Chaplain. The secular society pops up at times and says it’s a waste of money. But if you want a snippet of what I do, then read this email I recieved: (the author has asked for it to be anonymised). Then you decide.
On behalf of my son P and my daughter H, and myself, I am writing to thank you most sincerely for coming over to the Alex in the early hours of that Sunday morning, ironically Mothering Sunday, as their mother (and my beloved wife) slipped away from us for ever.
Although not overly religious for most of her life, I think L may have had some premonition that the end was coming sooner than expected as we know that she did take communion at the bedside along with another lady patient, only a few days previously.
P, H,and I found your presence to be very comforting at that very sad and distressing time and we thank you for the prayers you said at her bedside.
Although you will probably say that it “goes with the territory”, we are nevertheless extremely grateful to you for turning out in the middle of the night, when we were in the middle of that very cold snap of weather.
Life for us all will never be the same again; it never can be but, with the funeral over, our lives are now gradually starting to move in a new direction. Both P and H are married with young children. P’s are older and it has been difficult to try and explain that they will not see their grandmother again. H’s daughter is only 2 and therefore too young to appreciate the enormity of it all.
For me, it is a challenge; the forging of a new life, a life on my own, something I have never experienced before. H is even having to teach me how to cook as I never had any interest in it at all. Beans on toast was about my limit.
However, I am so grateful that I have P and his wife H, together with H and her husband A close at hand with the three grandchildren. At times like this, one needs family and I am so glad that we have always been a close family unit.
Once again, our most sincere thanks to you.