A Chaplain Confronts
By Jeff Finley
No one has completely escaped the trials of 2020, but Larry Lyons
especially has experienced intense challenges and times of grief and loss
during the pandemic.
First he contracted COVID-19 in early March but didn’t initially know he
had it because of only experiencing mild symptoms such as loss of taste and
smell, which had not yet been publicly associated with the virus.
Then the number of coronavirus patients increased dramatically at St.
Mary Mercy Livonia, the Michigan hospital where Lyons — a Free Methodist
elder and a member of the denomination’s Chaplains Executive Committee
— serves as the manager of spiritual care.
“The hospital just exploded March 24 really,” said Lyons, who experienced
a personal explosion over the next couple of days.“I got a call that my mother
a resident of an assistant living facility in Chelsea, Michigan was being
taken to the hospital. Of course, she’d been in lockdown since March 13,”
recalled Lyons, who, after receiving the call about his mother, immediately
contacted a palliative care doctor friend who lives in Chelsea. “She beat me
to the Chelsea hospital and was with my mom, holding her hand, playing
hymns to her. We put her on hospice care right there, and she died the next
pg. 20 — lightandlifemagazine.com