This is Rosemary. She is a Spiritual Care Practitioner
“I provide emotional and spiritual support to patients, families and staff to help people find meaning in their circumstances whether it’s a new diagnosis or unexpected news. I help them cope with the news and hospitalization as well as accessing resources. Traditionally, this role has been called a chaplain and was a more religious role. As times have changed, they’ve adapted this role to be more inclusive of our diversity. Since COVID, one unique thing that has changed in my role is facilitating video calls between patients and their families.
It’s quite sacred and special because the only time when families can connect with loved ones are the times when there is someone around to help them through that.
I have noticed that COVID has complicated our experience of grief.
I can’t imagine what grieving the death of a loved one is like during this time because we haven’t experienced it like this before.
COVID has taken away our control to choose when we can see our loved ones and now families are at the mercy of whoever is allowing visitors in.
So many patients are afraid of dying alone. When families do visit, the families are outside the windows and the patients are inside and they are calling each other on the phone. It reminds me of what jail might be like. It’s so sad to see that while they are connecting, they are still so distant.
With all the restrictions in place, it’s been very hard for people to process what’s happening and to find the space to just grieve. It’s so important that we try our best to connect with the patients because some of them already feel so alone in their illness.”