chapter  3
11 Pages

‘I was sick and you visited me’: facilitating mourning with hospital patients and their relatives

Julia Buckroyd
ByFacilitating mourning with hospital patients and their relatives Julia Buckroyd

For a period of nine months I worked part-time in the acute neurosurgery unit of a large hospital as a trainee counsellor and lay chaplain under the supervision of the chaplain. One of my original anxieties in taking up this work had been whether there would be anyone to whom I might offer counselling. It was almost immediately obvious that there was a vast need. I was very soon being given more referrals than I could manage. It was flattering to feel wanted and needed. However, it was also anxiety-provoking. Who was I to think that I had anything to offer people who were often mortally ill, or to their shocked and grieving relatives? Who was I to intervene in people’s lives and assume that I had something they could make use of?