5 Ways to Respond to the Orlando Shooting

5 Ways to Respond to the Orlando Shooting


At hospice we respect patients and their families.  What does that look like?  It is a Chaplain holding the hand of an HIV/AIDS patient and listening to the pain of his story.  It is a Social Worker providing counsel to a troubled family member who desperately wants to resolve deep inner conflict.  It is a nurse mopping the brown of a patient suffering from end-of-life fever.  It is a physician collaborating with the IDT about the best course of medical action to take for a patient suffering breakthrough pain.  It is that and so much more.

When an atrocity the likes of which this nation has never seen takes place, hospice team members mobilize to embrace a city with the love that called them to this noble occupation.  So, how do we respond?

We pray.

Did I go from respecting other people’s religious beliefs or no beliefs?  No, as I have spoken to those who claim to have no faith and they tell me the same thing, “you better pray.”  So, I do pray for the families of the murdered, the wounded, the families who as of this writing still do not know the whereabouts of their loved one, for the first responders, the medical staff at ORMC, the staff at Cornerstone Hospice who gave of themselves, and for Orlando to heal.   I’ll let you build on the prayer list…

We pause for stability.

When something like this happens we aren’t sure what to think or feel.  Confusion sets in.  Our souls are deeply in pain.  Rather than engage in a call-in show or write a letter ot the editor or jump on Facebook or other social media and vent our anger and outrage, we need to stop for a moment to gather ourselves.

We love.

I remember the week after 9-11.  Everybody loved everybody else.  Old fashioned manners returned.  People waved to one another.  We felt a nationalistic pride that we were Americans.  Soon after; however, we got back to life as usual.  Our fellow man, our fellow countrymen lie slain.  Their families have been brought to their knees in grief. Therefore, we love.  Not just these, but as many as we meet, those we work with, those we live near, those we go to worship with.  You disagree with the lifestyle of those involved in the atrocity?  Love anyway.

We grieve.

Our inner person writhes in pain as we are reminded once again that this is not the America or the world it used to be.  Gone are the Mayberry’s, gone are the simple days, gone is the safety we thought we lived in.  It is the ugly now.  Yes, we grieve with the bereaved whose sons and daughters were taken from this world at far too young an age.  We grieve for this and so much more.

We heal.

We place a poultice upon our wounded souls.  We recall the words of Psalm 23:4, “He restoreth my soul.”  The word “restore” pictures something extremely valuable being dashed to pieces with no hope of being restored.  David, the author of Psalm 23, reflected on the moments of great tragedy in his life and declared his God put the pieces of his broken soul, his broken heart back together.  He was not the same after his tragedies, he was better. We are not the same, either.  As we heal, we will be better as well.

This is the hospice way.  We pray, we pause, we love, we grieve, and we heal.  If you or a loved one needs someone to come along beside you in this time of tragedy and turmoil please call us at 866-742-6655.  We’ll be there for you.  It’s who we are.