The first thing you will notice upon entering Clema Lewis’s, the director of the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, office in Christiansted are the elephants. Small elephants in various forms line the bookshelves, hang from the curtain rods and clutter the desk. Each one stands for someone the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix have helped in their 33 years of service to the community. These individuals wanted some way to thank you. They cannot give back all that they wish they could give, so they leave an elephant.
Those who visited the WCSC on May 23, 2014 were struck by the comprehensiveness of the organization’s services. Their overwhelming response to need is a lesson to the mainland’s highly specific service and care organizations. The Clema Lewis had a motto regarding the WCSC’s services: “They ought to answer the needs of the community”. They will do want needs to be done because there is literally no one else.
And this is their message regarding the care of people who have suffered and have come in for care. They are excellent principles and should not be left to become dust in an old college notebook.
Let them cry. Let them grieve.
Explain everything you are doing.
Restore their sense of dignity and respect.
Be a woman.
Do not think “us and them”. Do not think or act like this cannot happen to you. Do not try to create a barrier trying to divide you from your patient.
Be with them.