Dr Saul Ebema – An Agent of Light
“I LONGED FOR A SENSE OF COMMUNITY, FOR PEOPLE YOU TALK TO, FOR PEOPLE YOU CAN DREAM WITH, AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT THIS THING CALLED LIFE.”
Dr Saul Ebema is someone who stays with you long after you have heard him talk. The work that he does now is enough of an accolade to make him an inspirational person; as a hospital chaplain completing his PhD in meaning making at end of life, he realised that there wasn’t enough out there for chaplains, and no place to share what they knew. What he started then has now grown into a movement which is educating everyone from doctors to non-medical people about what death is, and what spirituality, and community, and kindness, can offer us at the end of our life.
His early life story makes his work today all the more remarkable. Most notably he was torn from a happy family life, by seeing his parents brutally murdered in front of him, and then bounced to refugee camps, to being kidnapped, to more escapes, the murder of his brother, and continues through homelessness, risk of deportation &c.
To say he is extraordinary is an understatement: his honesty about the ever present PTSD, how he has grappled with the many very complex reactions to being consistently dealt such a hand, and how football has been a lifeline as a metaphor for how to bounce back. There is so much to learn about compassion from guests such as Dr Ebema, and his own podcast is another huge source for anyone who wants to draw more on his, and the collective wisdom of hospice chaplains.
This episode contains difficult content.