anchor for the years

Ten years into being a pediatric ICU nurse, I find I still grieve the saddest patient cases the same way I did from day one. It hits the day after with unpredictable tears, and I’m discombobulated as I try to reorient myself to my “normal” life and all its demands on me as mama, while still feeling haunted by the harsh reality of the story I bore witness to for 12+ hours just the day before and all its demands on me as nurse.

It’s like having this bittersweet privilege to pass through a blackout curtain where one side cannot see the other. Normal healthy families cannot imagine the agony of critically ill ones. Critically ill ones ache to remember what normal life felt like as it now feels too out of reach. I am the witness between the two sides that pull in opposite directions. On one side, I am playful, silly and tempted to be dismissive. On the other side, I am heavy, somber and sometimes over-responsible. Sometimes they collide inside me and that too is disorienting.

But in this particular moment in history, normal life is also not quite normal. Sands continue to shift, kids’ schedules continue to change, and I am looking for the anchor when I feel unmoored.

I am fighting today to remember that one of the best things I can do is carry the lessons from the darker, heavier side into the lighter spaces where I can see through the layers of all “normal” life’s demands and find what really matters for today. Loving God, loving my neighbor, my children…and being loved.

When Wine and Pedicures Aren’t Enough: Deeper Level Coping as a Christian Nurse

Recently, I have been meeting some soon-to-be-brand-new nurses who have wanted to hear from me about how I cope with the hardest things I see as a nurse. It is a deep and necessary question every nurse has to work through if you want to truly open your heart to the reality of others’ suffering and endure as a compassionate and effective caregiver. It has not felt like enough to say that I learn self-care. Wine, pedicures, massages, brainless days off – they all help but honestly, they don’t get to the heart of the matter. The recent tragic death of a friend whom I went to nursing school with, after being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer just two months ago, has forced me to realize that all my self-care efforts are just band-aids to the wounds that I feel from what I witness at work. Her death is pushing me to pay some serious attention to those wounds and the struggles that I’ve suppressed as a Christian nurse working in a pediatric ICU. I have had to ask myself why I believe in the goodness of God and what, exactly, do I believe that goodness looks like.

First, my suppressed struggles. The nurse, particularly the PICU nurse, stands in a very unique and conflicted place of tension between God and man. Nothing about a sick or dying child feels natural, and we are inclined to do everything we can to give a child a shot at life. The tension for the nurse is embedded in the reality that we now have more technology and medical advances than ever before, allowing us to sustain and prolong “life” even when “quality of life” has long been lost. In many cases, it becomes very difficult to then tell patients and families, much less ourselves, at what point we have all crossed the line in playing God. Patients and families can either hold out in a debatable form of hope for that “miracle” despite all suffering and costs, step tentatively into the agonizing journey of accepting death, or languish in some muddied in-between place until forced to make some kind of decision. It becomes terribly difficult to discern what God’s role is and what the manifestation of His goodness is supposed to look like in these situations. As the bedside nurse, there can be tremendous inner conflict when you feel that truly, God’s grace to very sick patients can come in the form of a gentle death, but you are the bedside nurse carrying out advanced treatment to prolong physical life and the concurrent suffering. When is enough enough? When is my role as the nurse actually doing more harm than good? I write this as a mother, with a deep reverence for the fact that it is impossible to ask a mother to part easily with her child if there might be a glimmer of hope for a cure, a remission, or at least some more time when both quantity and quality of life may be truly attainable. It’s just so hard to know how much to push the envelope when hope feels air-thin. It is a deep conflict that will only grow with technology.

Sometimes, when I watch patients’ families and friends come to the bedside to pray fervently and persistently for miracles, I just have to wonder what we all think the manifestation of God’s goodness is supposed to look like in response to these prayers. It’s not that I don’t believe in miracles. I’ve seen them, and I’ve seen them happen by way of all the technology we have available. I took care of a patient shot in the head and lungs on his very first day in the hospital when everyone swore there was no hope, and then I took care of him before he transferred to the rehab unit as he looked me in the eye and thanked me for everything. So it’s not that I don’t believe in God’s goodness in the form of miraculous healing. But we forget that God’s goodness is ultimately manifest in His provision for our souls to rest in Him, despite our stormiest of external circumstances. His goodness is first and foremost for us to find our sins forgiven through Jesus, such that come what may in this broken world, we may be confident that even death will not overcome us if we place our trust in Him. Perhaps then, we would not fear or fight death as violently as we do. Truly, it is the one who has never made peace with God who should fight death violently in the ICU. “For what does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world but lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) The greatest miracle is the heart that can grieve, but with a foundation of solid peace, joy and hope because of Jesus, even when physical death is imminent.

As I write this, I think of a precious Christian family whose firstborn daughter Ava has been in the fight of her life against childhood cancer. They trust deeply in God’s goodness, come what may, and also battle fiercely for every treatment possible to save their beloved girl. Their time together as a family has obviously not been easy, but it has been full of deep love and very real moments of joy, and hence their relentless fight for her life. They are living in this tension, and as a Christian PICU nurse, I deeply appreciate their reflections on their struggles. I encourage you, if so inclined, to spend some time wrestling through and receiving from their blog.

 

for comfort

To my sweet girls,

Almost every day, I look at each of you and can still hardly believe that I am a mother. I know my birthday is coming and the number isn’t getting any smaller. People may look at the number and think I should have had you both ten years ago. But I feel as though I should be wiser at this age, or as wise as someone at least ten years beyond me, before I can feel like a legitimate mom. When I watch the world news and see what I see at my workplace, the responsibility to nurture and guide you through this crazy world feels so daunting. Some days, I wish I could keep you in this innocent baby and toddler stage forever. Somehow it feels safer for us all that way.

There is something about the way you each look at me. Your inherent recognition that I and your Daddy are more than just your primary caregivers. We are connected in a way that goes unspeakably deeper than all the shared days and nights under the same roof. You lived inside of me, your heart and lungs and brain and fingers and toes grew inside of me until I could see that you were in fact a whole and living person, all at once unique from me but absolutely connected to me in every sense of the word. We are family, the four of us. We will learn from each other how to have healthy relationships, God-willing. We will learn respect and hurt and forgiveness and sharing and boundaries and togetherness and individuality. We will learn love and the depths of joy and pain that come together with love. We will learn about Jesus and struggle through the hard questions about God and life together. I’m on this journey with you, sweet girls. I still can hardly believe that I am on this journey with you as your mama.

I took care of a patient the other day that made me think so much of both of you. Through the partially closed blinds, I watched her mama sway, slowly back and forth, holding her baby so tenderly with all the love and ache that could not be contained by a hospital room for a precious sick baby. The doctor’s orders said it was ok to put the baby at mama’s breast for comfort. For comfort. They meant for the baby but it was for mama too. I knew she couldn’t put her baby down. She needed to hold her. She needed to comfort her. I couldn’t stay in the room. I didn’t know how to help prepare a mama for the hardest days ahead without falling apart myself. I thought of both of you girls and wanted to hold you both to my breast so tightly that night. For comfort.

I want you to know, I am your mama, but I am not your Savior. I won’t be here on this earth forever with you. There will be days, perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently, when I cannot hold you to my breast for comfort. I want you to know Jesus, sweet girls. Our Heavenly Father gave up His Son, gave up His only Son, to take our suffering and our death, so that all the hurt you will experience from within and from with-out in the course of your life, will one day be wiped away in the perfection and ultimate healing of Heaven. I want you to know the One who will always love you perfectly when I fail you. I want you to know the One who will teach us to love and forgive each other when we have hurt each other. I want you to know the One whose tender and strong hands put your heart and lungs and fingers and toes together in my womb with a skill that no accidental science could ever dictate. This is Love who put you together. I want you to know Him, sweet girls. He knows you and loves you so much. He is your forever Comfort. I want to take you to my breast and bring you to Him. This is what I want more than anything to do for you as your mama. For comfort. Because He is good. He is so, so good.

What’s Growing in Me

The obvious answer is, well, obvious. As my belly continues to swell with a 34-week fetus on her way to becoming my newborn bundle of joy in the near future, I still chuckle at the thought I had of going to Target to buy pregnancy tests to donate to a women’s health clinic located on our church campus. The odd looks from the clerk at the register would be priceless – and if I could pull off a fake naïve conversation feigning ignorance at my obvious pregnant state (one co-worker suggested I cross my fingers and excitedly exclaim, “Here’s hoping!”), it would be simply classic. The physical aspect of what’s growing in me should be apparent to anyone and everyone at this point. Except perhaps my 21-month old toddler who kind of knows something about Mama is dramatically changing but still can’t quite wrap her little mind around it yet. It’s ok sweet girl, we’ll all be shell-shocked for a while when our new reality hits, but we’ll find our footing as the dust settles.

What else is growing in me is not so obvious. The excitement and the anxiety. Sometimes it’s mostly one, sometimes mostly the other, but usually it’s the oddest mix of both that I hardly know what to do with because both are screaming so loudly in my head and heart at exactly the same time. On the humble 2D ultrasound in my ob-gyn office, we saw Munchkin #2 look right at us and blink, slowly, beautifully and unmistakably. My heart swelled at the beauty of her face, and then my blood pressure briefly spiked at the undeniable re-realization that I will have another little human being to add to our mix, to raise all over again from Day One. Just when we got into such a sweet rhythm with Munchkin #1. It’s growing. The excitement and the fear, all bundled up in this great anticipation.

The other day, I read again about the miracles of how Jesus fed thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish. His disciples were being confronted with demands that felt ridiculously daunting. How will we feed all these hungry mouths? I’m sure they were wondering how they would take care of themselves as well. I can so relate to them. Trying to feed thousands of people could make for kind of a long day, and even after they saw Jesus perform the miracles He did, Matthew 16:5 says they forgot to take bread for themselves and it implies they got a little worried. Curiously, His warning to them is to “take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” He reminds them that the last thing they really need to worry about is how they’re going to survive physically, day to day. What they need to be more careful of is letting the leaven of certain worldviews take root and grow to the point where it dictates – and oppresses – their inner life. The leaven of the Pharisees – needing everyone to follow all the rules with a dead heart, needing to maintain the appearance of having it all together while a vibrant inner life is nowhere to be found, needing law and order to reign over love and freedom as Christ’s beloved – beware of this leaven. Take heed lest this be the seed that is growing in you. The leaven of the Sadducees – that there is no hope of an eternal perspective, that today’s pleasures are all we have to live for so set your hope only upon what lies before your eyes here and now – beware of this leaven too.

For the fetus growing in me, for the mix of excitement and anxiety growing in me, for my toddler who also continues to grow despite my protests, I am taking Jesus’ words to heart. It is not for me to worry about how we will all physically survive this big transition from family-of-three to family-of-four. We will. (Pour me another cup of coffee, please.) It is more important for me to remember not to get too caught up in the need for everyone to follow the rules of the house, the need to maintain an appearance of having it all together at the expense of my inner life, the temptation to become over-consumed with what is in my here-and-now (as legitimate as today’s demands may be) such that I forget there is a much, much bigger Picture that we are all a part of. And my role is to relinquish my need for control, to let my heart be shepherded by my God who will give grace for each day, and to shepherd the little hearts in our growing family to live fully and joyfully in His grace and love. Let this be the hope and vision that is growing in me.

letter to baby, at one trimester

I wasn’t sure for a long time if I wanted you. No, that’s not quite it. I just wasn’t sure if I could be the mommy you deserve to have. Life was so unrelentingly full with big things, unusually big things, some good things and some really sad things, and I was scared that I couldn’t give you the attention and priority and love you would need. Your daddy was so patient with all my crazy fears and our God was so gracious. And now here you are. We saw you, heard your little strong heartbeat, and there’s no turning back. Your head is huge and your legs and arms are still forming. I think you look ridiculous and adorable and amazing and just perfect. I can’t believe you are inside of me, connected to me, depending on me to take good care of you because right now, you are literally a part of me.

I can’t help but wonder if you have any conscious thoughts at this point. Do you mind that I still sleep on my stomach sometimes at this point, or is it annoying? Do you feel ravenously hungry when I feel ravenously hungry? Does it startle you when I sneeze? Did you hear the music I was making on the keyboard this morning? I hope you are comfortable and happy and safe in there. I think you have your daddy’s gas.

I’m eating a whole lot these days because of you. You sure do like all things potato, egg, and orange. Apparently you hate mushrooms and green beans, and the taste of coffee is a bit much for you (which makes me wonder if you’re really my child). You’re making my relationship with food really complicated.

I take care of a lot of sick kids at work, and it’s scary for me to know that you are not necessarily exempt from any of the things I have witnessed. You belong to God and your life is in His hands, and that is a good place to be. I hope to make good choices that will give you only the best quality of life at the end of the day. If you are healthy, which means you are running around and babbling and exploring and getting messy and sometimes screaming incessantly, I hope to not take that for granted too much when I’m exhausted and longing for peace and quiet.

I pray to grow and stay rooted in enough security in Christ and humility before Him that I don’t let my ego get wrapped up in your future behavior, your future success. I don’t want to raise the pastor’s kid. I just want to raise you. He is weaving your heart and mind and being together in my womb, and I hope to nuture you well so that you might know your Creator and live for Him, with all the gifting and passions He’s putting in you. Even if you and I have completely opposite personalities, interests, everything. I hope to value you well for all you are.

Well, enjoy it there in my belly for the next few months. The world is a big place and you’ll have a lot to take in. I don’t know if you sleep sometimes, but if you do, sweet dreams, little alien baby. Mommy loves you, and mommy’s praying for you.

Why I Must be Thankful for What I Do Not Have

I woke up grumpy on Thanksgiving Day. The dog gnawed incessantly all night at his hot spot and I hadn’t the heart (nor the courage) to curse him with the cone of shame. So I wrapped his tail with a light towel to cover the hot spot. He’d wake with a start after an hour to peel it off and gnaw again. The sound shot shivers through my spine and woke me upright. We repeated this numerous times. Between this battle and an uncomfortable dream, I woke up grumpy, irritable, far from sentimental, less than thankful.

I celebrate Thanksgiving Day not primarily because my heart naturally overflows with gratitude, but because I need to practice expressing gratitude more. I mastered complaining early in life, on my first day outside of my mother’s womb to be exact. I am ashamed of my ability on some days to walk away from acutely ill patients after 12 hours at work, feeling full of frustration at their neediness rather than deep gratitude for my own health and ability to serve them. Oh my soul. I celebrate Thanksgiving Day because I need to practice expressing gratitude more.

I need to practice gratitude for the basics, which I can really only even call “basic” because I still take them for granted that much, forgetting that I fall within the top 3% of the wealthiest in the world, simply because I have them.  Salvation, life, health, shelter, a car, food, belongings, education, a job, a dear husband, dear family, dear friends. Each of these alone merit a lifetime of thanksgiving.

I need to practice gratitude for the things I do not have. Perhaps they would incline my heart that much more towards vanity, and distance me all the more from those beloved friends in poorer countries who showed me once what a purer contentment looks like. Perhaps they would crowd my life and attention with their need for maintenance, stealing my energies from things more eternal. I am not currently suffering without those things. What more do I truly need?

I need to practice gratitude for the challenges and hardships that have come. They teach me about the need I have for my community to save me from a lone island mentality. They teach me about my weaknesses so that I do not die a more painful death from my pride. They magnify the mercy, comfort, hope and compassion of my Savior who Himself entered into our suffering in order to ultimately deliver us from it one day. They give me perspective to save me from a shallow, superficial existence.

I need to practice gratitude for the forms of suffering that I have not personally experienced. I need to practice this so that I might actively remember there are others who are enduring tragedies, which I am called to do something about in all my comfort and power and wealth, as an expression of the hands and feet and heart of a loving God. I need to practice this so that my spirit does not become overly entitled. I need to practice this in hopes that others might practice it with me as well.

I celebrate Thanksgiving Day because I need to practice expressing gratitude more. Won’t you celebrate and practice along with me this day, this season, and in this upcoming year.

Twenty Things I Would Like to Teach my Future Children

Today’s brief foray to the market, my second departure from the house in an otherwise homebound week full of flu-like symptoms, inspired me to make a list of things I would like to teach my future children, God-willing. I wanted roast beef but the pre-packaged slices contained 22% of your daily sodium intake per serving, so I opted to buy my own pot roast and make my own low-sodium roast beef, despite the fact that my current ickiness level does not predispose me to a strong desire to cook. I wanted last-minute Halloween candy, but the bulk bags placed strategically in the middle of the store with VERY large, very bright “SALE” signs proved to be more expensive per ounce than smaller bags tucked away in the candy aisle. I do not mean at all to imply through the making of this list that I have these skills down by any stretch of the imagination, but they are things that I hope to always personally cultivate, and teach to another person, in at least some imperfect way.

So here we go.  At least twenty things I would like to teach my future children:

1.)  How to read food labels.

2.)  How to read price tags beyond the “sale” sign.

3.)  How to budget in a way that intentionally prioritizes the needs of those less fortunate.

4.)  How to maximize a load of laundry or a load of dishes.

5.)  How to travel light.

6.)  How to take care of another living thing, be it a plant, a fish, a dog, or a person with special needs.

7.)  How to refrain from habitually turning the focus of conversation onto themselves.

8.)  How to wait for others to finish their sentence before interrupting.

9.)  How to say to another person’s face, “It’s not ok that you did that.”

10.)  How to recognize and respect social cues.

11.)  How to read the Bible.

12.)  How to listen to and think about perspectives radically different from their own.

13.)  To think a lot about how another person would feel walking into the space they just left behind, in the bathroom, at home, at work.

14.)  To greet housekeepers and maintenance staff at hotels, restaurants, etc. in the eye and say “thank you” often.

15.)  To tip wait staff generously for good service.

16.)  To spend at least a month in a foreign country, preferably one less developed than the United States, and preferably in living conditions equal to that of the locals for at least part of the time.

17.)  That they should never expect to be exempt from unexpected suffering.

18.)  That sometimes, it does matter what other people think of them, because integrity, influence and character matter.

19.)  That God’s love will always be greater than any negative thought or emotion they will ever think or feel about themselves.

20.)  That it is worth it to work through the hard questions about God.

a letter for my soul

I am in tears over Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Oh, my soul.

I’ve been losing sight of the Lord, slowly, subtly, surely. Life has gotten busy and ambitious and it seems my ego has risen a bit too much to the challenge. I’ve been unusually obsessed with control (and if you knew my usual level of obsession, you’d know that’s saying a lot) – trying to control things at home, at church, at work, so that all my raucous ducks are in a row, so that all that is wrong or imperfect can be made right (by me… as if), so that I don’t have to admit that I’m just so terribly uncomfortable with feeling out of control. I can’t get the termites or the fleas or the clutter or others’ opinions or others’ shortcomings or my shortcomings or my patients’ changing statuses or their parents’ anxieties or my anxieties over it all, under control. Oh dear, pour me another cup of coffee. I’ve grown convinced by some deceitful voice that obtaining control means obtaining peace, and losing control means losing peace. The resulting simmering anger and frustration has, with just a minimal increase in heat here and there, occasionally brimmed over and I haven’t been able to put a lid on it.

It is exhausting trying to usurp the place of God.

Here comes Paul. He’s in prison. His life hasn’t gone according to plan, but he’s rejoicing. Because God is in control despite the awful cliché, and so Paul assures his anxious friends in Philippi, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,” “I know that this will turn out for my deliverance,” and ultimately, “to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

His life is complicated, but so simple. He is bound up in chains, but he is so free. He knows the One in whom his life rests and that’s all he needs to know. “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

And of course, because I’ve lost sight of the One who really matters, the good and sovereign and wise King, I’ve been obsessed with my ego. I love my Facebook likes and my blog followers and all my praise. This I confess. I exploit my own self to promote myself. What depths of sin and self-deceit.

Here comes Christ, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. He made Himself nothing, of no reputation, taking the form of a servant. I nailed Him once to the cross with my pride, twice with my unrighteous anger, a third time with my envy, a fourth with my critical heart. And then He took it all and bled and wept and died from it and got buried with it all. But oh my soul, He rose again above even those depths to show that He who began a good work in me would still be able to carry it to completion. It is He who works in me to will and to do for His good pleasure now, not to make me a slave but to make me free.

And so it’s time for me to relearn how to do all things without complaining and disputing. To count all of man’s praise and approval and promotion as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ. And believe me, my secret heart has counted it all, taliied my points to give myself those big gold stars. It’s time to put that behind me again and press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

It’s time to rejoice, and again, rejoice. Quell the anxiety. Hallelujah, I don’t have to be in control of it all. Lift up prayer and thanksgiving. Let generosity and gentleness and contentment be mine because He is on the throne and I am not, and so all is right with my world again.

He is the King, and I am His child.

Oh my soul, again I say, rejoice.

The answer to a Charlie Brown prayer

The other evening, I received a small but profound blessing, a seed.

We had gone away for a brief vacation, both of us burdened by the sadness of many hearts, and weary from the battle for hope and joy and light when the darkness felt so thick. I asked a dear friend to house-sit for us. Yes, and can my other friend come too? She has been looking for a time of retreat. It couldn’t have worked out better. We prepared and cleaned as hastily as we were able, and I was glad that our time of getting away could in turn allow for other hearts to also find a time of hiddenness and rest. We left a small list of things we needed them to do – gather the mail, water the plants, take out the trash. I wanted their work to be minimal, and their rest to be true. I felt a bit badly for the countertops I didn’t get to clean before we left, though I knew these friends wouldn’t mind.

Our vacation was perfect. Mammoth was my much-needed reminder that beauty did not always require heartbreaking effort to find. That is the mercy of God over me. I hope in His redemption but I rest in His unshakable love.

Returning home from vacation always involves a mix of relief (there’s no place like home) and low-grade dread (I’ve got some work to do). On the long drive down U.S. Highway 395, I began to plan what we would do when we got home. First things first. Wash the towels and bedsheets. Wash the dusty dog. Semi-organize all the stuff we unload from the truck. Wash up. The rest can wait until morning.

Weary, though in a lighter-hearted kind of way, we finally arrived home. After unloading our vacation-in-a-truck, I walked into the main living space, and there it was, the blessing. Clean towels, washed and folded. Bedsheets newly washed, beds remade. A handful of thoughtful gifts, and a note. Everything has been washed. Enjoy your rest after a long drive. I walked into the master bathroom, and saw there was more. The countertops I hadn’t gotten to were now wiped down. Even the jacuzzi bathtub, which we hardly use, had the embarrassing spiders and dust rinsed from it. These friends had served us in their own time of retreat, beyond what we could have asked. They gave us a blessing.

In a profound Peanuts cartoon strip by Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown whispers a prayer one dark night after reassuring a very frightened Snoopy that the sun would eventually come out again. Who comforts the comforter? That was my heart as I wept in my prayers before leaving for Mammoth. God, my heart feels so drained, and so lonely. Who comforts the comforter?

These friends had given us the blessing of meeting anticipated needs. They were God’s answer to my prayer. I know what you need. I know what you need. He moved hearts to be thoughtful in the most substantial form of the word, to be sacrificial, to be incarnationally compassionate down to the most minute details.  I took this blessing, this seed, and put it in my heart. It is growing. Hope. Joy. Light. Life.

Reblogged: Can Grief and Joy Coexist?

I deeply appreciate the honesty of this blog. I have lost my stomach for pat answers laden in overspiritualized vocabulary that invalidate the reality of what people experience when life is just honestly, hard. I have a deeper hunger for something both honest and real when we talk about joy in Christ, because of Christ. The same Christ who knew the Father was good, loving, and in complete control when He was broken on the cross and asked why He had been forsaken. He knew He wasn’t back Home yet, and He knows we are not either, not yet. This is the Savior I love, in whom I hope and in whom I can rejoice.

Clearing Customs

There is a phrase in Mandarin Chinese, bei xi jiao ji (悲喜交集), meaning “mixed feelings of grief and joy.” Grief and joy aren’t commonly thought of as partners, but when faced with loss, cross-cultural workers need to understand that one doesn’t necessarily cancel the other one out.

Expressing Grief

Dr. Steve Sweatman, president and CEO of Mission Training International (MTI), says that the call to take the gospel of Christ to another culture “inevitably is a call to sacrifice, to losses, to things that you will have to leave behind or give up.” This sacrifice takes many forms, and MTI has identified five categories of loss experienced by Christian cross-cultural workers. They are

  • a stable home
  • identity
  • competence
  • support systems
  • a sense of safety

In an audio presentation at Member Care Radio (entitled “Good Grief“), Sweatman also discusses the differences between concrete and abstract losses felt by cross-cultural…

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