Hospital Notes (17)

Christ Church Life – Excerpts from the Magazine

The great importance and value of human contact and touch was reinforced for me recently when visiting an elderly lady.

As I approached, somehow from her demeanour sitting in bed I sensed that she was a gentle and gracious lady and after introducing myself asked if she would like me to stay and visit to which she nodded to say ‘Yes’.

It was evident that she was unable to speak as she gently took my hand in hers, slowly raised it to her lips, and kissed it. Then while she was still holding onto my hand I moved her hands up to my mouth and kissed them back.

What a moving way for her to communicate her desire for someone to be with and beside her in her time of need and struggle. I hope my response conveyed the privilege and pleasure I felt in being able to be with her for a while.

In all I was with her for around 20 minutes during which I sat with her, spoke from time to time and offered to pray to which she nodded her head. I said the Lords Prayer and she mouthed ‘Amen’. I then said some prayers particularly for her.

At the end of this she took my hand – having held onto it the whole time – and kissed it again. I ‘replied’ by moving forward and kissing her gently on the forehead. ‘Thank you’ she mouthed before I left to visit another patient.

As you might imagine that was one of the most humbling and emotional visits I have experienced in my time as a Chaplaincy Volunteer.

Dave Rowlands June 2019