Care | Church | Compassion | Death | Ministry

I visited the Hillhaven Hospice. When I interviewed the Chaplain on a Tuesday morning, he told me that 8 of their 30 patients had died over the last weekend. Knowing how close-knit a family (care-takers and care-receivers) they were, I asked him about the effect of so many deaths on the staff. He replied that it was tough — but then recited for me the most moving story I have ever heard. It was the story of one patient — one death. He told me that on Saturday one of their patients who had been there a couple of months had a visit from her teenaged son. The staff said that it must have been a great visit because there were laughs and jovial conversation. At noon the boy said, “I’m to have lunch with some friends, I’ll be back later, Mom.” After he left the patient called her favorite nurse and said, “I think this may be it. I…

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