Joy, I agree with your spiritual assessment so far. When I think about “limited support system” or “isolation,” the specifics of their isolation feels oppressive to me. They are isolated from their religious tradition, from the rituals that might be supportive in that regard, from cultural recognition of their relationship (which is basically invalidated by the doctor), lack of autonomy as a legitimate spouse to make decisions, etc. Even the regret regarding delay is potentially tinged with homophobia–“We’ve been treated poorly by the medical establishment so it has to be serious before we would put ourselves through that again.”

I wonder what you see in the chaplain’s interactions (or in different interactions you would recommend) that could have positively addressed the specific spiritual needs of this individual/couple?