Saying Good-Bye

“My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.”
John 13:33

Though my husband retired from his work as a hospice chaplain, he continued to visit a few of his former patients and the spouses of a few others for several years afterward. The loss of the last of Mike’s hospice friends returned my thoughts to this important work.

Choosing to accept hospice services is difficult at best. After all, this admission acknowledges the reality that ones days are numbered. The good news is that this admission is also an invitation to pull back some of the artillery and to negotiate peace with ones impending journey home. My husband never ceased to be amazed by the calm which settled upon his patients as they approached their last days. Their acceptance of the things to come seemed to free them to enjoy the days they had while tying up loose ends as best they could. When his patients offered their final farewells, Mike rejoiced with them because they had achieved certain peace at last. Though I didn’t accompany Mike on these journeys, I joined my brother, my mom and my sister when they walked the same path. Like Mike, I was amazed by the calm which enveloped them and by the generosity with which they responded to we who were left behind.

That first Holy Week, Jesus knew that his days were numbered as well. Still, Jesus took the time to savor his last meal with his friends. Jesus took the time to reflect and to embrace what lay ahead. While others planned his demise, Jesus’ acceptance freed him to share his final lessons with those he loved.

Dear God, while I walk with Jesus this week, fill me with the peace and courage which allowed Jesus to love us even as he endured his passion.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved


2 thoughts on “Saying Good-Bye

  1. As a hospice nurse for the past 25 years, I want to thank you for your promotion of hospice! Also, thank you for helping me to connect it to the journey that Jesus took! Happy Easter!

    Liz Kopochis, RN, MS, CHC, CHPC
    Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer
    Seasons Healthcare Management, Inc.
    6400 Shafer Court, Suite 700
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    Office: 847-692-1135 | Cell: 847-525-8253 |
    Honoring Life ~ Offering Hope

    • You are most welcome! I can’t begin to tell you the number of people who’ve expressed their absolute appreciation for the presence of hospice in their lives and that of their loved ones. Thank YOU for your much needed work in this regard!

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