I was sitting next to my mother’s bed, keeping watch during the last hours before she died. I’d been a hospital chaplain for a few years, long enough to know what I said to other people, now having to tell them to myself. I don’t have any way to prove what I’m about to suggest. … Continue reading What I assume (but don’t know for sure) about that time while someone is dying.
I wanted to write something to my generation. I was prepared to be sarcastic. “Hey Boomer! Tell your kids that you are going to die so they know what to do when it happens. Because we are dying.” I wanted to write it because I work in a hospital. I talk to families before and … Continue reading Hey Boomer. We’re dying.
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
When you receive a hard diagnosis with a likelihood of death, people are glad to tell you what do to. They do it with intense certainty: “Do this treatment. Try this tool. Be courageous. Be strong.” And they do it with the best of intentions and the most anecdotal of data. “This worked for my … Continue reading A working list for life after a difficult diagnosis
These days, and all days, people die and family isn’t present. It’s particularly hard when rules keep people away. But sometimes it’s distance, sometimes it’s relationship, sometimes it’s timing. From my observations as a chaplain and as a human, I’d like to suggest some of the reasons we feel so emotionally hurt when we know … Continue reading I couldn’t be there when my loved one died.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande.The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come. Rob Moll. Departing in Peace: Biblical Decisionmaking at the End of Life. Bill Davis. Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care. Kathryn Butler. Whatever the medical decisions made, under any circumstances we can express our … Continue reading Talking about talking about death and medical decisions.