As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan says there are two questions she’s often asked: What are people’s last words? And what do people regret as they are dying? She says “I think what they’re really asking is ‘what am I going to regret? And what are the most important things to say?’”
Egan wrote about the thoughts, secrets and regrets that people share while they are in Hospice in her book On Living. Egan will speak at the McShane Colloquium on Sunday March 10th and Monday March 11th at First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo.
Egan says it’s hard to describe the job as a hospice chaplain. She says even people who work in hospice don’t understand it. “Your goal for every patient you go in to see is to help them meet whatever spiritual need they have, and that can span the universe.” Egan says every person is unique, and so are their spiritual needs at the end of life.
On Living includes the stories of people in hospice. Egan says all of them said they wanted their story shared with a larger audience. “You’ll notice it’s a very small book, there were not that many people who said that.” Egan did not use anyone’s real name, and says she made sure not to share any identifying information.
Egan says for people who ask about the regrets of the dying they should think about those questions now. “You’re not going to be shocked at the end, you know what your regrets are.”