As some of you know, I used to be a Hospice Social Worker. During this time, I learned about the mystery and the miracles of living and dying. I am not sure that there is anything more sacred than to be in the presence of someone who is leaving this earth and reaching for the hands of Jesus….
It seems lately I am keenly aware of my friends who are sitting with family members or friends who are dying. Recently I went back to my book shelf and reread Midwife for Souls. I would like to encourage you to pick up this book. I have found that this book helps to address many unknowns and provide a framework to consider a topic that often seems hard to know where to begin…
This classic work on the spirituality of caring for the dying is now expanded with moving stories and lessons gleaned from the author’s experience as a hospice nurse. Caregivers, friends, and family members often feel unsure of what to say or do as they care for the terminally ill. Midwife for Souls provides insight, showing how the support of one’s Catholic faith and the power of prayer can guide one in ministering to a dying person. Written in a style that is poetic and beautiful, practical and credible, this book is essential reading for anyone who accompanies others to the edge of life-and helps in their birthing to eternal life.
There is something very valuable I discovered while I worked for Hospice, and that is that anyone can be a Midwife for a Soul. I did not use much of my professional education while sitting at the bedside of a transitioning soul.
I learned how to sit in the presence of a process that is not controlled by medical professionals nor responsive to medication.
I learned the dying process is unpredictable and can come very quickly or take a very long time.
I learned that there are not many words that fill the space as one takes the journey to the edge of life….but there is a presence that brings comfort when you simply show up and wait expectantly…
I learned that if we can embrace and discuss our own reality, that we all will someday die, and educate ourselves while we are living, we will truly be equipped to birth souls…and that is an amazing journey to share in!