In a Time of Distance

By Rev. Laura “Luna” Mancuso

Rev. Laura “Luna” Mancuso (ChI 2008) offers reflections as
a spiritual care provider serving during the time of Covid-19. 

From the Video:  As the whole pandemic was becoming known to us, and as I was checking in with myself, some of it started to feel familiar. It reminded me of being in the room as a chaplain with a family when someone is in the bed dying and I am trying to hold the center, and I know that all my training is being brought to bear on that moment.

It is as if the whole world now needs hospice care—not because each one of us is going to die, but because death is so present.

In this work I am fulfilling what Thich Nhat Hanh said: that if we are in a boat together in rough seas and people start to panic, if even one person aboard can stay calm, it can spare the whole boat. That’s what I think is happening right now.

As chaplains, we have a unique, specific skill set. We know how to be present to ourselves, to loved ones, to our clients and patients, and  to our communities. We have skills that are especially needed right now. We have something to offer the world.

Please be sure every day to take care of yourself, to connect with things that feel good, and to connect with your spiritual source—because this is going to be a marathon.

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Rev. Laura L. Mancuso, MS, CRC (ChI 2008) is a rehabilitation counselor and interfaith minister serving the Santa Barbara community. She is the Spiritual Life Director (chaplain) at Vista del Monte Retirement Community and teaches Advance Care Planning facilitation skills at the The Alliance for Living & Dying Well. 

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