Family life chaplains are amazing folks. How would you like to spend the majority of your time tricking stressed out families into sticking it out, even though the military lifestyle is a guaranteed recipe for destructive relationship habits? If you are a family life chaplain, your job is pretty much an uphill battle every. single. day.
So I respect these guys. Because their life can’t be easy. And I listen to what they have to say. Because if you are going to fight upstream against hurt and angry people all day long, you probably are also going to put a lot of thought into the advice you are handing out.
That’s why when Chaplain (Maj.) Nils Palma made a presentation at Fort Campbell this week about sifting through the feelings of loss, grief and loneliness that come with any deployment, I paid special attention. He said the problem with post deployment is that things have changed with our spouse – and that we have to virtually create an entirely new relationship based on those changes.
And if we are creating a new relationship, we are going to need to mourn the loss of the old one, he said.
All of military life, he said, is that straight forward sounding challenge if you stop to think about it -- grieving and dealing with changing.
“We’re in the business of change management,” he said.
Since I like to think about things in “to-do list” sort of terms, this quote stuck with me. “Change management.” That sounds like something I can put on my check list ... at least in theory.
Now, spouses, go and manage that change.