New Year’s greetings from your parish nurse,
I hope all of you are healthy and warm after what is often a busy and tiring month for many. I’m writing to offer a reminder of how any of you can reach me for information, a referral, to set up a visit, or to ask a question. My phone (which is fingerprint and password protected) is (916) 223-6880, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be available after this Sunday’s service, and after *almost* all upcoming services for any questions you may have. If you’d like a blood pressure screening, help completing an advanced directive, or have questions you’d like to ask in private, we can arrange that easily.
My original plan for this letter was a brief “wellness and encouragement letter,” during this most germ-ridden time of the year. I had wanted to offer some encouragement about self-care, staying hydrated, and generally being good to ourselves. But my plans changed yesterday, when I found out that a nurse colleague of mine took his own life over the holidays. This was a brilliant, dedicated, compassionate, well-trained nurse, and his loss has rocked the team of the hospital where I worked from 2009-2017. And as I move through my own complex feelings about this loss, I asked myself, what, if anything, can I do now?
I no longer live in the same area as this nurse, so I can’t easily offer concrete assistance to his family and three small children. I can’t give a hug to my colleagues who knew him very well, or lend a listening ear to them. What I can do is offer a hug and a listening ear to all of you. And offer encouragement that you check in on your friends and family and offer the same. Feel free to reach out to me, to a member of the Caring Committee, the Listening Team, and of course, Rev. Jessica. We are your beloved community.
I’d also like to share a resource. The National Suicide Hotline is a 24/7 free service, with a 1-800 number. 1-800-273-8255 This service is also available for the deaf and hard-of-hearing via TDD, and also via chat on their website, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ I would encourage those of you who don’t feel you need this resource to save it into your phone anyway, so that one day you have it handy to share with someone who might need it.
So, in closing, Take care of yourselves, and know you are loved, important, and so valued.
Jennifer Ingalls, RN