There are a lot of people who live in fear of their phones. Doctors, EMT’s, firefighters, and pastors all know that in a moment, their phone could change their day or week. Maybe it’s a car accident they need to get to quickly. Maybe it’s the hospital calling them in for an urgent case. Or maybe it’s a family member calling to let you know that someone died. I received one of those phone calls on Memorial Day, laced with tragic irony – a soldier had killed themselves, and now I, as the chaplain have to “do my thing”.
The thing that frightens me, the thing that I want to process “out loud”, is just how comfortable I am with these situations. People tell me all the time that they have no idea what to do or say in these moments. That’s not my problem. My problem is that it begins to feel scripted or rote. My problem seems to be how comfortable I am talking about death, grief, and suicide. It feels strangely familiar. Continue reading