Hospice chaplain Kerry Egan says watching a loved one die is hard. She says they may suffer in pain for a long time. But Egan says one benefit of having time before death is that people have a chance to reflect on life, make a connection and say something to a loved one before they can’t say it anymore.
The book On Living chronicles the things people told Egan while they were in Hospice. It includes reflections on the meaning of life, and regrets people felt at the end. Egan will speak at the McShane Preacher’s Colloquium Sunday March 10th and Monday March 11th at First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo.
Egan says her role as hospice chaplain is not to “teach or preach,” she says “it’s too late for that.” Egan says it’s important to meet the patient “where they are right now.” She says even if that patient doesn’t believe in God. In some cases, Egan says people their faith may be shaken by the fact that they are facing the end of life.
In her book, Egan tells of some people who share family secrets at the end of their life. She says “lots of people die with their secrets.” She says “those family secrets are really tough, and part of the reason people have kept them for so long is they don’t know how people are going to respond to them.” Egan says many times people think they are keeping a secret, but family members already knew before it’s revealed.