Brave and Calm (COVID-19)

Vietnamese Refuge Boat

When the crowded Vietnamese refuge boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive. Thich Nhat Hanh

Several months ago, my former father-in-law, Bill, was in the intensive care unit struggling to breathe. He was 86-years old and was hospitalized several times in the past year. I told my ex-husband that I would come to the hospital to support him and our daughters. I knew that Bill was going to die.

When I arrived, Bill, laid in his hospital bed with an oxygen mask as he struggled to survive. My former sister-in-law, Kari, wanted to remove the mask and let him go. Since I worked in the hospice field, I helped the family make end-of-life decisions such as when to increase medication, ordering a hospital chaplain, and explaining the dying process.

A few weeks later, at Bill’s funeral, Kari thanked me for my calm presence at the hospital. I was that one person who remained calm and centered during an emotional time. I kept all the people in the boat from panicking.

You, too, can be the one person to keep your family calm during this pandemic. We will survive this pandemic! Human beings are resourceful, adaptable, and creative.

There are a lot of worries about getting sick, taking care of someone who is sick, and how to pay bills. Hopefully, everyone can go back to work soon (as long as it’s safe and there’s a good plan in place).

The Vietnamese refugees set sail on small boats. They did not have any guarantees, but they were brave enough to face the unknown. We, too, can face the challenges ahead and be brave enough and calm enough to weather the storm.

Namaste, world.

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