Care of the Dying and Bereaved
Verbatim Report of a Pastoral Visit
Your Initials: GR
Location of Visit: At UT’s home
Time of Visit: 1430
Date of Visit: May 29, 2013
Date Written: June 8, 2013
Religious Preference: Seventh-day Adventist # of Prior Visits: 3
Referral: Y/N? N
My initial visit with UT was a couple of months ago when my husband and I were approached to help with the relocation of a bed to make room for a hospice bed. During the first visit as we were introduced to the couple, I became aware that the patient sent home to die with hospice is a retired pastor with the Seventh-day Adventist church. He spent all his life as a missionary and pioneer for our church. Within a week he died and I bumped into the wife (UT) outside of church a few weeks after his death and she asked if I could come by to visit with her. This is my third visit with her.
As I enter UT’s home I notice the blinds down and curtains drawn. There is a lamp turned on dimly and in the recliner sits UT. Next to the recliner is a table with her cup of tea, her bible and a journal. The walls are covered with pictures of the couple and their children from all over the world where they ministered. I can see the kitchen from where I stand and there are boxes stacked up on the counter and stove which lets me know that she is not cooking for herself. She invites me to sit down.
I chose this visit to do a write up as a verbatim because this is my third time with Mrs UT. My visits with her are grief related as she is mourning the loss of her husband. They had been married for seventy years. I would like to focus on how I helped her begin the grieving process. Pastoral Visit
C = Chaplain
P = Patient
C1: Hello, UT, It’s Gilda Roddy; I thought I’d stop by to see how you are doing since our last visit? (The phone rang and when UT answered it she spoke in a low voice. I was aware I felt anxious and wondered if I should excuse myself.)
P1: The pastor is here D and I have been waiting for her visit, can I call you later? Bye darling. (She hung up the phone). It’s my daughter; I’ll call her later.
C2: The last time I was here we talked about your support system. How is that going?
P2: As you know, I had a lot of family and friends visit after H died, now I am definitely feeling the emptiness and loneliness. I sometimes hear H calling my name like he used to and I respond like I used to and then realize that he is dead and it is just wishful thinking. (She pauses)
C3: (After some silence), it is quite normal that you would hear your husband after all the two of you have been together for over seventy years. Tell me, how are you coping?
P3: Gilda, It’s hard. I can’t remember life without him (she starts sobbing). We got married on my eighteenth birthday. I was young but back then, its what you did. I was the oldest of thirteen kids. When I met H he promised me the world and I remember laughing at him. He kept his promise. I have visited and lived in some of the most untouched parts of the world.
C4: How was it for you to leave your family? (I was aware of my own pain of leaving my family, as I left home at eighteen leaving the southern hemisphere heading to the northern hemisphere to study)
P4: To tell you the truth, I missed my family a lot, but there was something about marrying a pastor and travelling the world. I was excited and looked forward to an adventure, something I had never experienced before. There were times when life was no so easy but for the most part H and I lived a life of adventure.
C5: Tell me a little about when life was not easy?
P5: One of trying times was when we spent seven months in the Solomon Island. (She pointed to a picture of her and her husband with a local tribe). We were told by the General Conference to...
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