It dawned on me this past week, as I sat visiting with one of my very favorite residents, that I’m dreading saying goodbye. In six weeks, I move on to complete my chaplaincy training in a different pastoral setting, because we need to experience the gamut of all chaplaincy in our training.
I’m going to miss my residents, because each has such a uniquely divine quality about them. Even the residents who just stare and twitch and can’t communicate take on an other-worldly quality when I sing songs and prayers to them. Their twitching slows, their eyes focus, and a calm serenity enfolds them. When I see this, it is as if I’m witnessing one of the greatest mysteries and miracles of life — as if their neshama (their soul) returns from whence it was sleeping and awakens to sing only through their eyes. It’s so miraculous, and remains such an unexpected miracle, that it just takes my breath away every time.