The Indescribable Value of Having Our Stories be Heard

I have two big events coming up that feel huge to me because at the core of them is the rare, underestimated, healing opportunity for our stories as nurses to be brought forth from the depths of where we tend to bury them, and be heard.

Tomorrow, I’ll have the privilege of being interviewed for the Silent Why Podcast by Chris and Claire Sandys. As they walked through their journey with loss and grief through infertility, they eventually set themselves upon a mission to explore 101 different kinds of loss and ask if good can still be found in the midst of them.

They’ve interviewed dozens of people about various forms of personal losses, and have also interviewed a police chaplain and a retired murder detective about the kinds of losses they encountered through their professions. I’ll get to share my experiences and reflections about loss and grief as a pediatric ICU nurse. While the subject matter clearly isn’t light, I have felt so heartened as I’ve been preparing my thoughts about how hope, meaning, and beauty do still endure in this often dark world I and my colleagues are immersed in.

I truly hope this podcast episode will be one that:

  1. Can be a voice of sorts for those doing the work, who have a hard time helping others understand what the breadth of our experiences can be like. I love the deeply curious, insightful, organic way Chris and Claire interview their guests. They are able to elicit so much from the stories, and we all come out so much more enlightened about peoples’ lived experiences with the mix of both lament and hope.
  2. Can help me gain more insight into my own journey, as we always learn new things when other people ask us questions that we don’t think to ask ourselves.

I anticipate the podcast will likely air at the end of September or early October, and can’t wait to share when it’s available! In the meantime, please check out their other episodes. They are wonderful interviewers.

Along the lines of gaining insight when we are led to explore our nursing experiences from new angles, I am so grateful and excited to be speaking at the International Association of Forensic Nurses Annual Conference in Dallas, TX at the end of September.

Forensic nurses are another uniquely specialized group of nurses who enter into the complex stories of victims of heinous crimes, a work that requires such courage, intuition, fortitude and compassion.

For me to have the privilege to hold open space for the stories of these forensic nurses, colleagues who bear so many others’ stories on their hearts and shoulders, is for me to shine a gentle light on spaces in us that the grief-averse world around us so often asks us to keep buried because it can be so hard to look closely and honestly for enough time to also find beauty.   

I’m looking forward to creating space at IAFN for us to carry our burdens together, and also find renewed hope as we dig deeply for the beautiful spaces we can uncover in the midst of some very hard and painful work.

There is such indescribable value in having our nursing stories be heard.

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