HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — With the ongoing pandemic, many people here in the valley have dealt with the loss of a loved one. Valley Baptist Medical Center is still urging people dealing with grief to take care of themselves.
Chris Hall has been a Chaplain at Valley Baptist Medical Center for the last 23 years. Since the start of the pandemic more people have been dealing with grief. People like Hall are in demand for emotional support.
“We’re made of three parts,” Hall said. “We’re made up of body, mind, and soul.”
Chaplains at the hospital usually have support groups available for anyone in the community who is experiencing bereavement. But because of COVID-19, Hall said those support groups have been put on hold. But the need for emotional and spiritual support is still there.
“Because there is not a group available, we have tried to do a few things like one on one with people we’ll do some things over the phone, try to reach out over the phone with some of our volunteers and some of our chaplains as well as the needs that arise,” Hall said.
But Hall said there are still ways for people to take care of themselves during grief by just remembering the person they lost.
“Do things that might have been traditions that you remember with that loved one that you lost and, in some cases, maybe even start a new tradition,” Hall said. “The things that I think that are important to a person who is suffering loss is to remember that grief is normal.”
And while people have gone through losing a loved one during the pandemic, Hall and his fellow Chaplains wish they can be there with more support for the community.
“I’ve missed that that group, I’ve missed the support the group can offer other people,” Hall said. “I encourage people to come and be a part of the group for themselves but also what they might offer others. So yes there has been a big gap.”
But for now, Hall and his staff will still be there to support patients and their families and the hospital. But despite all the darkness through the pandemic, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Remember that you can normalize your grief… and even embrace your grief and allow your grief to help you with that process,” Hall said.
Chaplains at Valley Baptist Medical Center are still providing alternative grief support for the rest of the community. To find help, you can call the Valley Baptist Medical Center Chaplains at 956-389-1194