When I met Stacy Sanders, director of chaplains and bereavement services at Hospice of East Texas, he joked about being a slow talker. This has to do with more than his Arkansas roots. Stacy spends most of his conversation time listening. When he speaks to families who are losing a loved one, he wants to provide time to process and a warm presence. He is sensitive to their raw, numb state and feelings of anxiety.
Hearing his story, I decided his slow, calm demeanor was a perfect response to these COVID times. Whether in sickness or in health, all of us are needing space to process. Stacy’s training gives him insight into feelings of loss during a pandemic, even when we and our family members remain physically healthy.
Stacy wasn’t shy about being real. His understanding of grief and loss extended beyond his professional work and into stories about his best friend and his parents.
The Tyler Loop stands by its mission to develop shared understanding in our diverse and growing city. Stacy’s voice is yet another in the chorus of our East Texas neighbors. My hope is that seeing Stacy’s video can help provide a sense of connection and solidarity, now more than ever.
Thanks for reading this story. Just one more thing. If you believe in the power of local journalism here in Tyler, I'm hoping that you'll help us take The Loop to the next level.
Our readers have told us what they want to better understand about this place we all call home, from Tyler's north-south divide to our city's changing demographics. Power, leadership, and who gets a seat at the table. How Tyler is growing and changing, and how we can all help it improve. Local arts, culture, entertainment, and food.
We can't do this alone. If you believe in a more informed, more connected, more engaged Tyler, help us tell the stories that need to be told in our community. Get free access to select Loop events, behind-the-scenes updates about the impact and goals of our work, and, above all, a chance to play a part in bringing more fresh, in-depth, unexpected journalism to Tyler.