Mary M. Wrye

Good morning Mike and Joy,
I am Mary. I am the Director of Chaplaincy Service in a small community hospital in Western Kentucky. To say the I’m the “Director” of the department is a little misleading as I am a one person department, so I direct myself :0)
I am ordained and endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (the moderate group that left the Southern Baptist Convention almost 30 years ago). My first “life” I was a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist with mentally/physically handicapped adults. Second “life” after seminary has been 16 years on church staffs, CPE and Board Certification (APC as well), and here at this hospital 15 years. I am not married. No children of my body, six children of my heart (nieces and nephews).

Like both of you, I do not work directly with children but have had similar experiences as you. “How do we tell the kids?” Another part that I run into is younger children being taken with their parents to see a grandparent that has just died in the ED. I tend to discuss that with parents first, but some do it anyway.

Joy, I am so glad you brought up the grief associated with graduating from one phase of life to another. We often get wrapped up in the celebration and excitement of kids going from elementary school to junior high or into high school or jumping into the teenage years that we don’t stop to watch the grief going on in what is left behind. Thank you for pointing that out.

Joy we have been in these seminars together before. Nice to hear from you again. I look forward to learning from y’all.