A hospice chaplain is often called to sit bedside with a patient nearing death. Sometimes she is alone, and sometimes family members or caregivers join her. There might be prayer or sharing of stories about the loved one.
Recently I sat by the side of a patient’s bed, watching to see if she was still breathing. That night, I dreamt of my own mother at the moment when she took her last breath. This memory did not come to me as I sat bedside, but surfaced later in my dreams. It’s interesting how these connections are made.
Another visit to a different person’s home. His daughter, a retired physician, walked me to the door at the end of the visit. She recalled that she had seen me in her medical practice years ago, and we laughed at the connection there.
I feel honored to witness the dedication of family members participating in the care giving of their loved one. It reminds me of my own time caring for my mother before she died. It reminds me of the quote about walking each other home.
I am blessed to have this calling, to be able to walk with others on their way home, with dignity and peace.