On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

The Time for Hospice

When a loved one is on their last leg you go for a healing prayer of a different sort.

For a while now we’ve been talking about hospice care for Dad. I love the idea of hospice, the spiritual living in accepting dying as part of the miracle of life. The hospice movement is a caring resource for anyone with ailing loved ones and an answered prayer. But how do you know when?

I talked to Mom on the phone in the morning. “Daddy’s doing okay,” she said, “but he’s getting awfully confused.”
 Then I got an email from Will in response to an email from me: “When I was in fifth grade and asked by the yearbook what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was something like this; I want to be married, have four children, 10 grandchildren and lots of friends. Something in my precocious 11-year-old head sensed that Grampie got the important stuff right.

“One of Grampie’s trademark phrases was ‘I’m proud of you.’ As he heads down the exit ramp, I couldn’t be prouder of him. As sad as the situation is, the fact that Grampie lived a life to be proud of is the giant, fundamentally important saving grace.”

Mom called me back in the afternoon to tell me that the head nurse has suggested that we look into hospice. “It’s just what we’ve all been thinking,” I said. Then I read her Will’s email and we both cried a little.

So much for saving graces.

Will sent his email from D.C. where he had to be on business. “P.S.” he said at the end, “Glad I can now cross ‘cry on the D.C. Metro’ off my bucket list.”

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.