Passing away at hospice is a process very often occurring over days or even a few weeks.  Families sit in vigil at the bedside of their loved one attending to every need while doctors and nurses manage the healthcare process.  

For families, the process can be overwhelming.  There is the juggling of so many emotions amide the details of inviting family and friends for goodbye visits and beginning to think about a memorial service – all while dealing with everyday jobs and family responsibilities.

Yet I so often witness nobility.   Families let go of past hurts and find ways to support each other while saying goodbye to someone they have so loved.  I watch families support other hospice families in their own grief.   I see kindness and warmth.  There is so much that is great in us.

It continues to amaze me how lucky I am to be a hospice chaplain.  I am invited into the most intimate and tender moments of a family’s life and welcomed as a trusted confidant.   While a stranger before this time, I am included as a friend in the many emotions that so often accompany the passing of a love one. 

There is nothing particularly special about me.  Yet, I am invited into this sacred space to listen and to pray.   The best I often have to give is a warm embrace, a hand to hold and the wisdom of silence.  My prayer is that I am equal to this sacred task.


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