Heartfelt Reflections: A Counselor’s Journey in Pediatric Palliative Care in India

Author: Ramalakshmi: Counselor for Golden Butterflies Children’s Palliative Care Foundation

24 February 2024

Being a counselor at the Golden Butterflies Children’s Palliative Care Foundation, I always believe that what little I do makes a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Honestly, counseling children and their families with terminal illnesses is challenging, but the satisfaction from witnessing the smiles of the children and the heartfelt connections formed with their parents is truly indescribable.

I engage with patients and their families, helping them navigate the complex emotional challenges that come with the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. I sit with them, listen to their fears, and provide a safe space for them to express their hopes and concerns. Beyond addressing psychosocial support, I consider the overall well-being of the family. Effective training and professional supervision have helped me develop emotional resilience to cope with the intense emotions that arise in palliative care and bereavement counseling.

Beyond one-to-one counseling, we organize support group sessions for individuals who share a similar path through grief. These gatherings become a safe space for those who feel isolated in their sorrow, creating a sense of community and understanding. I facilitate these groups, guiding the participants toward mutual support and shared experiences. When it comes to bereavement counseling, I’ve learned that grief is a unique journey for each person, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Offering a listening ear and a compassionate heart is the best thing I can do in many situations.

I thank Golden Butterflies for guiding me to provide essential intervention to the children and families in need. This experience with terminally ill children has made me fall in love with service and giving back to others. I have formed strong connections with children and families, and one thing I look forward to is improving the quality of life.

By carefully navigating personal and professional boundaries, a palliative care counselor can provide effective and ethical care to individuals and families facing life-limiting illnesses while safeguarding their own well-being.

What little we do makes a difference, and we have to decide what kind of difference we want to make.

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