Thank you Brand for your insights also and your appreciation of Rabbi Nadia. I can resonate with the care that your Pastoral Care dept. offers to staff and family there in the skilled nursing unit. By vicarious suffering, I would understand how staff and family take on the sufferings of their loved one. Am I right in this understanding? The Paschal Mystery- Jesus took our suffering on but He did not explain why we have to suffer. It is a mystery. Yet, suffering is part of our life. When we love, we will suffer. An image I use with families and staff is something I learned from a Spanish Sister who was being canonized in Rome. I was there and they had an excerpt from one of her letters to all her Sisters who worked in nursing homes. She said something like “You can be a missionary in China or Africa or wherever. But there is no greater mission in life than to walk another human being home to God”. That is what we all do as we accompany the dying.
Thanks Brand and Joy for your sharings!