Bereavement, Grief, healing, Well-being, wellness

Who’s Helping the Helpers?

This has become a frequent & recurring question I’ve been asking myself and others since 2020. And the answer I’ve come to is troubling to say the least.

Not enough human beings are in the habit of helping the helpers or healing the healers or listening to the listeners.

And goodness, WE ARE IN NEED.

Especially those of us who are working in any form of the healthcare industry.

Having recently left a corporate hospice job, where my role was to support grieving and bereaved families during and after the death and dying process of a loved one, I learned my own personal hard lesson. Those of us working day in and day out (night times, weekends and holidays, too) to provide care and support to those suffering with disease and illness & are nearing the end of life, are not often afforded that same grace or dignity when it’s OUR hearts breaking from our own life losses, diseases and struggle. We represent a small cog in the machinery of a corporate money making entity that is soulless.

We are the front lines to bear witness and hold space for others while our own humanity is ignored and not effectively supported so that we can continue to share our gifts with the world and thrive in our own right. If and when we create healthy and much needed boundaries to preserve our own wellness, we are bullied or reprimanded by our superiors and are pressured to leave our positions altogether without actively SOLVING the problems or expected to simply “suck it up” and keep things moving. And those same supervisors telling you to “suck it up” are also the people taking 4 times a year tropical vacations and sit behind a desk and aren’t exposed to the mess and agony of the human experience every single day. Because WE (those with souls and goodness) are replaceable while those who lack basic human decency are in short supply? And here I thought that was the point of evolution? Clearly I missed a chapter.

Make no mistake for those who are as naive as I was so many decades ago: healthcare is first and foremost, according to corporate America, a BUSINESS. Money, money, money and those of us who chose this profession, for the most part, want to love/heal/support our fellow humans as our chosen profession – not meet quotas based on selling services and care to families suffering in some form or another. Our healthcare system is literally and legitimately profiting from other’s pain, disease or demise.

How is this ok?

To say there’s a disconnect is an understatement.

Additionally, frontline healthcare workers have weathered and endured and done the hard and heavy lifting through the ugliest parts of a global pandemic – for nearly 3 years and still counting. To say we are tired is an understatement. Burnout and compassion fatigue aren’t strong enough words to support the actual trauma we have witnessed and held space for.

So, who’s helping the helpers?

To be continued…..

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