“Did I make the right decision?”
With tears flowing down her cheeks, the wife of a patient reminisced about the events over the last few days and wrestled through her own role with the future of her loved one.
“My husband said to me yesterday, ‘Unplug me,’ and I have been going home every night, praying to God as I try to place my husband in His hands. But the doctor keeps saying that he is making small improvements. All I want is him to get better.”
Listening intently to this woman’s cries of agony and guilt, I respond calmly, “He will get better—either here physically or with his healing in heaven. You are not making this decision. Your husband expressed his wishes to you, and you are just serving as his voice by sharing these with the doctor. It is out of your control, and it is now in God’s and your husband’s hands.”
Pondering briefly upon what I said and placing her hand over her heart, the wife commented, “Thank you. I needed to hear that. That brings me such peace.”
Listening and reassuring. These are sometimes the toughest responsibilities in my role as a chaplain, but they are some of the most powerful in that they empower families to continue trusting and following the medical team—with the Greatest Physician of all as their leader.
Lord, guide us in being a presence that supports others’ needs. I ask this in Your name, Amen.