my faith ~kerry egan

CNN Belief Blog

Editor’s Note: Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain in Massachusetts and the author of “Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago.”

By Kerry Egan, Special to CNN

As a divinity school student, I had just started working as a student chaplain at a cancer hospital when my professor asked me about my work.  I was 26 years old and still learning what a chaplain did.

“I talk to the patients,” I told him.

“You talk to patients?  And tell me, what do people who are sick and dying talk to the student chaplain about?” he asked.

I had never considered the question before.  “Well,” I responded slowly, “Mostly we talk about their families.”

“Do you talk about God?

“Umm, not usually.”

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2 thoughts on “my faith ~kerry egan

  1. I just read your article at CNN and wanted you to know how much I needed to hear that. Every single thing you wrote is so true it shocked me. I took care of my Dad with Alzheimers and my mom with Parkinsons. And, like the people you’ve talked with, I was all alone. I was in college when I took care of my dad, and I had a good job after that then I had to quit for my Mom. What made me so angry is how so many people were quick to criticise( lots of they have such a tight schedule?) but slow to help. Even professionals would criticise me. I have sisters, but since they all had families they couldn’t help me. So, they just didn’t help at all. But they definitely had time to tell me everything I was doing wrong. And then the situation comes up on how I will pay my mortgage, car payment etc. And who takes care of her money. Seriously, just one big mega ball of stress. Now, I am currently in nursing school, and I have such respect for nurses, but caring for a family member 24/7 (while trying to explain to family members that there is no way to continue to do this free of charge without going bankrupt) is so much harder. I really do wish caregivers would get the respect from society that they deserve.
    Thank you so much for your article!

    • Hi, Colleen…I hate to tell you, but I’m not the one who wrote the article. I also read Kelly Egan’s article on CNN, and I re-posted it here on my blog so that more people might see it. I’m sure Kelly would love to hear all the nice things you said about her article…you can probably just copy/paste what you wrote here into the comments section for her article on CNN. …Best wishes, Viki (aka pathwriter) P.S. Yes, caregivers have a very hard job. My mom took care of my grandmother for the last twenty-five years of her life. Good for you for stepping up!

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