A rough draft: some thoughts on chaplaincy (a poem)

First, walk gently.
You’re entering into the great mystery.
Sorrow, regret, anger, grief, relief.
You never know what you’ll find.
So you may as well walk gently into that room,
which will likely be dark and quiet.

Second, talk gently.
The dead dream.
And the survivors do too.
They are in a fog,
or out to sea,
or in the deep woods.
Pick your image.
But talk gently, that mystery
will one day be you and yours.

Third, act gently.
Your gentleness
will invite whatever needs to happen
to happen.
If at all possible,
make it so the wife/husband/
Hardly knows you are there.

Listen gently.
Listen with your eyes
and your ears
and mostly your heart.
The stories will come.
Be there to hear them.
Stories remind the wife
that she still is alive
And is alone and is not alone
all at once.

Be the Spirit
or Jesus
Or Muhammad
or the Buddha
Pick your guide and be that person.
Mary. Dorothy Day.
Thomas Merton.
It matters not.
Of course you are the best option.
So be you too.shine your light