Recent Hospice Experiences

I was sent to Hospice to visit a new resident who I was told was

in need of help get her settled into her new home.

When I arrived two of her daughters were trying to console a

distraught mother, she was very unhappy in her strange

surroundings. I asked if she would like to hear a little scripture

and some old familiar songs. One of her daughters had left

and the other said she thought that was just what her mom

needed. I sang Psalm 23, Jesus Loves Me, In The Garden and

Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven and read a few related Scripture

verses. She couldn’t remember who I was, and although the songs

and reading were helpful for her daughter, Mother could not be

consoled. Her daughter thanked me and apologized for her mother’s

lack of interest. We prayed The Lord’s Prayer and I tried to comfort

her daughter, telling her that perhaps mom received more

comfort than it seemed.

AS I left the room a gal whose Mom was on her death bed in

the next room said she heard me singing and asked if I would

mind helping her family sing In The Garden, their mom’s very

favorite song. Mom appeared comatose, but as we started

singing she turned and looked at us and her lips moved as she

seemed to try to join us for a few short moments and laid

back in her former position. The family asked me to continue

singing and reading. When I was ready to leave one of her daughters

asked if I could sing another of their favorites, “On Eagle’s Wings”.

I told her I’d be happy to, but I may not remember all the words.

She handed me a sheet with the words and I sang it.

I’m certain that Mom’s death was very near. We prayed together

And I left a very appreciative family.

The next week I was asked to visit an old retired pastor at the

Hospice. I read Psalml 23 and sang it along with others. He was very

hard pressed to communicate, but as I sang he sat back, eyes closed

with a big smile on his face. After prayer he spoke clearly and said

“I want you to know that you made my day”. What a privilege it is

To share the last part of another person’s life. Praise The Lord!

THE MEANING OF LIFE

What is the meaning of this life that we live

and try to comprehend?

To understand what we need to give

before this journey’s end.

My old friend lay dying on his bed.

Is there any comfort to give?

As my songs and verses fill his head

does he think of the new life he will live?

As I witness him take his very last breath

I wonder about my own.

I hope that someone will share my death,

And bid me ado, as I head home

What a privilege it is to share God’s Word

With folks near the end of their life.

To share with them what I’ve read and heard;

And ease their discomfort and strife.

In memory of Bill Grainger

Feb.23,2007

D.F. Cooper

www.fcgmusic.com

Ecclesiastes12:1-7(NIV)

Remember your creator In the days of your youth,

before the days of trouble come…..

and the years approach when you will say,

“I find no pleasure in them”-before the sun and the light

and the moon and the stars grow dark,

and the clouds return after the rain:

when the keepers of the house tremble,

and the strong men stoop, and the grinders cease because they are few,

and those looking through the window grow dim;

when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades;

when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;

when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets;

when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along

and desire is no longer stirred.

Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him-before the silver chord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken;

Before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well,

…And the dust returns to the ground it came from,

And the spirit returns to the God who gave it.

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