You can’t win a debate with dementia. Brains sometimes see things that don’t exist. Or that haven’t existed for thirty years. Or that didn’t actually exist in that way thirty years ago. Brains sometimes forget things that happened six times in the last hour. Or explanations that have been offered every hour for five days. … Continue reading You can’t win a debate with dementia
In the Church, the most familiar prayer may be words that we know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” There are some differences in the English-language versions, most notably saying trespasses or debts and including or excluding the last section. Whatever those difference, the words have their roots in a request a disciple made to Jesus. “Lord, … Continue reading The Lord’s Prayer
The psalms help us when we cannot find words to capture feelings of loss or abandonment or frustration or betrayal or delight or joy or faith. Or when we are afraid to talk about those feelings to God for fear God will be mad at us. Written across centuries, spoken around campfires and in a … Continue reading Ancient prayers: the psalms
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen. Book of Common … Continue reading A night-time prayer
“And as countless nights before, the church, in the midst of my weakness, responded with her ancient voice: ‘Here are some words. Pray them. They are strong enough to hold you. These will help your unbelief.’” Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night (Downers Grove: IVP, 2021), 8. Tish Harrison Warren introduced us many of … Continue reading On praying the prayers others have written.
I’m thinking about writing a book called “Deathbed Speech Class.” I love the title, even though it sounds like it’s going to be about your dying words in a police drama, or an old movie where you say, “rosebud” and no one ever figures out what that means. What I know is that in most … Continue reading Deathbed Speech Class. A proposal
How do you know what to do next if you’ve never been through this before? When a person dies, many hospitals and hospices and care facilities have packets of information about next steps. Finding a funeral home. Figuring out what the funeral director might need. Obtaining a death certificate. Finding words that will help you … Continue reading An online grief packet.
Eulogy means “good words”. And this is the place in a service for people to talk about the life and meaning of the person who has died. Sometimes one family member represents everyone, reading the stories that other family members have given them. In one case, the person had four children and several grandchildren. One … Continue reading How to write a eulogy.
I recently was asked to talk to a healthcare team about self-care. Instead, I suggested 10 ways to help each other. I started with the word “survive”. I realized that “endure” sounds more encouraging, or hopeful, or long-term. But I’m still thinking about survive.) 1. Remember that we each survive differently, because 2. “Survive” means … Continue reading 10 ways to help each other survive (or maybe endure)
I’m sorry. Nothing: (Sixty seconds of silence) May I take care of that? (and take the tissue out of their hands and give them a fresh one and throw it away and wash your hands) This is hard. Yes, I remember that time. I don’t know. . whether pets are in heaven . . . … Continue reading 10 simple phrases when visiting in the first hours after a death.