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Sorrow, Laughter, and Miracles Along the Way...

Updated: Mar 18

Don’t invite me to your party. Don’t invite me because I tend to bring people down. I am witty and engaging, of course, (ahem) but when the talk inevitably turns to work and someone asks the innocent question, “What do you do?”, my answer brings the party to a screeching halt. I tell them that I work at a children’s hospital and that I am a counselor who works alongside the doctors and nurses in palliative care. The partygoers give me a worried look that says, “please don’t tell me a sad story.”  No one could blame them for not wanting to hear about children who are ill, injured (or even dying) because of course it can be heartbreaking.  But that’s not the whole story.  It can’t be.  Because alongside the sorrow there is joy and laughter.  It is a strange cocktail, indeed.  I have learned so much from my friends in Palliative Care.  I have learned how to remain hopeful when everything seems so wrong. 


What I’ve come to realize over my 25 years at the hospital is that most of the people who work here were drawn to this place not in spite of the tragic circumstances but, in part, because of them. They came to realize that they could use their gifts to make the world a better place. Consequently, the sad stories don’t cause Compassion Fatigue; rather, it is when they are working hard, and witnessing heartache but they can no longer see that their efforts are making a difference. So, the trick is for them - for you - is how to remain connected to knowing your hard work in a world full of hurt makes all the difference.

And that’s the whole idea behind my book, Pickle Jar Diaries.  It is a collection of stories and my artwork about spectacular people I have known, and lessons I have learned over my 33-year history of counseling with trauma survivors.  I pulled these things together because I learned, a long time ago, that I needed to make a hobby out of holding miracles close. 

You are invited to join Lou Lacey for a Lunch & Learn titled Compassion Fatigue Prevention: Laughter and Miracles Along the Way on April 10th, 11:30am at Tapestries Counseling Center. Click here for more information.

Lou Lacey is an author and Licensed Professional Counselor and the Director of Emotional Wellness at Children’s of Alabama, She works to prevent Compassion Fatigue among the medical caregivers at the pediatric hospital by providing individual and group counseling on site.  She has a 33-year history of providing therapy for victims of trauma.  Lou is the former Director of Rape Response and of CHIPS Center at Children’s (child abuse assessment and treatment clinic.)  She has been a speaker and instructor for over 25 years in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Compassion Fatigue Prevention and Treatment and finding joy in living a life of service to others.  Lou believes in the healing power of laughter, connection, and the wearing of weird shoes, all of which are included in her new book, Pickle Jar Diaries.  

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