Do You Believe In The Light?
Article ID: 14388
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,473
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Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: January 16th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,224
I am a registered nurse by profession and my specialty lies within the surgical suite. After being a surgical nurse for over 30 years, I retired from a huge medical center and shortly after that I hired into a small surgical center. I was too young to not ever work again and I missed working in the O.R.
When I hired in, my philosophy was to keep a low profile and let my coworkers get comfortable with my surgical abilities and my personality. After all, I was the new kid on the block. Little by little, I started sharing bits and pieces of my life but making sure I never mentioned being Pagan. By doing this I also had time to learn about them and establish a great relationship with our patients, my coworkers, our doctors and management.
One day during a lengthy case the surgeon said, “What is that on your neck”? I always wore a simple Pagan necklace that looked like a star within a circle and the tree of life. Up to now no one had made the connection, and frequently it was mistaken for a Jewish necklace. So, under the pressure I answered “just a sterling silver necklace”.
He then said with a twinkle in his eye “that’s a Witch’s necklace, so I better be careful before you cast a spell on me”. I laughed and said “If you don’t leave me alone I will turn you into a frog”. He just snickered and that was the end of that… or so I thought.
Later on that day a few staff members asked if this was true. Was I really a Witch? To me this sort of situation relates to what it’s like when you raise your children: when they ask questions, you give them age appropriate answers. In this scenario, I thought it best to answer truthfully and make it short and sweet. I did exactly that and then added, if you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. I assured them I don’t solicit membership and I will be more then willing to answer any questions they have.
As time passed, they became more comfortable asking me questions. Once my boss asked me how many holidays we celebrate and did I need that time off. Others ask the usual standard Pagan/Witchy questions such as: do you believe in the devil; do you sacrifice animals; do you do magick? Now this being said, I can get on with “Do you believe in the light”?
A coworker’s mother was very sick and was on dialysis 3 days per week and she was not doing well. My only comment to my coworker was that I was very sorry that her Mom was so sick. I know though personal experience it’s not an easy thing to go through.
Several weeks later we were working together when she ask me, “Do you believe in the light? I know you are Pagan and I would like to know if you believe in the Light”.
I moved close to her and sat down so we would not disturb anyone else in the room and answered, “You don’t have to be a Pagan to believe in the light. It has been well documented that Christians as well as non Christians have stated during near death experiences that they see the light”. Then I followed up that statement by saying “I absolutely believe in people seeing the light, why do you ask”?
She continued to tell me the story of her Mom. She said her Mom keeps saying that she was seeing ‘the light’ over a picture in her hospital room. She then told me that her Mom told her that she was so tired of being sick and in pain all the time. She had monster tears in her eyes as she said, “I am not ready to let her go”.
I had to choose my words carefully! I asked her if she had talked to her Mom about what she wanted. I also told her no one wants to lose a loved one and I understood her not wanting to let her go. Then I told her she has what I call a gift…the ability to know that her Mom’s life was coming to an end because many people do not have this opportunity. Loved ones can be taken away in an instant through trauma and accidents without warning.
I continued to counsel that she now has the chance to tell her Mom each and everyday how much she loves her, and how thankful she is to be her daughter. I held her hand as I told her she needs to ask her Mom what she wants, honor her wishes and not make her feel guilty for being too tired to fight any longer. I also made the suggestion that she ask for a consultation with a social worker and or spiritual leader to help her and her family during this trying time.
She gave me a heartfelt hug and thanked me for taking the time to listen and to give her guidance. I gave her my phone number and told her to give me a call if there was any thing I could do for her.
Two days later I got a call from her telling me her Mom had passed. She also said that after talking to me she still felt the loss of losing her Mom but also felt so much better that she had sat down with her Mom and ask her what her wishes were and what she wanted her to do to help honor her wishes. She told me she was at peace with her Mom’s passing and very thankful for me being who I am. She also said, through knowing me, she has become more at ease with Paganism/Witchcraft.
For me, it was sad that she had to lose her beloved Mother. It also made me realize just how fortunate I am to work in a place that accepts my religious preference and me. In retrospect, this was a small act of kindness that helped bridged some of the gap/tension between Christianity and paganism. We never know when our actions can create a positive reaction towards religious tolerance.
Location: Davison, Michigan
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