Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A book to read while in Hospice care.

One of the joys of this ministry-which-is-the-store is hearing parts of our customer/friends stories, and then offering help where we can.

Here is a part of a message from a local deacon that I received yesterday.
A parish member who is in Hospice care asked my advice today about a book for a 16 year old grandson. He is trying to deal with her illness, and is not very good at “God talk.” I’m not sure how strong his faith is, although he has been raised pretty carefully. He has lots of questions for her about whether or not when she dies it will all “be over.” She has asked me to try to find a book they can literally read together and then talk about. Have you any suggestions?

Some of my thoughts about this message include:
1. The media and the news seems filled with answers for the less important questions, such as which car to buy, how to make yourself look younger, sexier, more appealing, or which politician to support or urge to vote a different way. But, as I see it, this grandmother and her grandson are working on the much more important questions. They are the questions about life and death. It is grace to me to be asked for some small help for these two caring individuals.
2. Both the grandmother and grandson are facing the concept of imminent dying, hers. Do they both have questions or has the grandmother figured it out? And, oh, is she prepared to have her “figuring out” changed as she passes through death to the other side?!
3. I imagine that the grandson will remember their time together through the Hospice care for the rest of his life. I wonder how it will change his life. Yes, they will both remember their time together, for the rest of their lives.
4. One of my questions for the deacon is “How much time do they have?” Both, how many hours do they have right now to spend together reading and discussing a book, and how many days does the grandmother have on this side of life? Part of my suggestions for books was influenced by this consideration.
5. No doubt you the reader will have some ideas about books that the grandmother and grandson can read and discuss together. Imagine the range of answers from all (both?) of you!

1 comment:

cynthia said...

I've been thinking about this since yesterday, John. I've been picturing myself as the grandmother, trying to explain to my 2 adult children the happiness that I've found in Jesus and the greater happiness to come. I've searched through everything that I've read, and most of that is geared to the "believer". I've come to the conclusion, for myself at least, that I would need to share with them my personal faith and what Jesus has meant to me in my life, and what my hopes are in my new life.I would also need to pray for the Holy Spirit to bless me with the words. It's unfortunate that during my life, they won't listen, so I can only hope that my "living" will help them to understand, and that in my dying, they might know better.

I'm very interested to find out what books you recommended, John.

Cynthia Klokel