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Hospital chaplains offering comfort throughout pandemic

Posted at 11:37 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 08:18:34-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky has surpassed yet another grim milestone, 3,000 COVID-19 related deaths.

This comes just a little over a month after Gov. Andy Beshear held a ceremony to honor the 2,000 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

"We reached 3,000 far too quickly," Gov. Beshear said Thursday. "Please think about these families. Think about the toll this has taken."

As a growing number of families are impacted by the virus, hospital chaplains are often there to comfort them in their most difficult times. That may mean listening and praying with families, said Kathy Mattone, Market Director for Spiritual Care at CHI St. Joseph Health.

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Mattone and the chaplains she oversees offer support to patients, families and healthcare workers.

"We do a lot of helping them come up with ways that they can find purpose and meaning," Mattone said.

She's concerned about the collective grief people are experiencing during the pandemic, she said.

"There's going to be significant grief issues throughout our country and the world as people try to navigate through not being able to say goodbye, not being able to have traditional funerals."

But, she said, each person lost deserves to be remembered and honored.

"Give people the opportunity to remember that another life, a person who made a difference in the world, has passed."