Midwife for Souls: Spiritual Care for the Dying
I wrote this book in 1992, when hospice care in America was a fairly new concept. At the time, I was working twelve hour night shifts at an inpatient hospice. Night after night, I observed patients of all ages, with varied diagnoses, going through a process that looked remarkably like childbirth.They seemed to have spiritual experiences in common as well. I’m a reader, so I searched for books that would explain what I was seeing, but couldn’t find any.
My supervisor asked me to prepare an inservice for the other nurses. She said, “I don’t know what you tell the families, but it seems to really comfort them.” I started writing, and the inservice grew into a manuscript that would become the book. It flew from my fingers in about sixteen days. I felt inspired to write it, and would dearly love to write like that again.
Countless hospice nurses have approached me over the years, saying, “I was going to write that book!” I’ve taken these reports as confirmation that this book was something the Lord wanted. I just happened to be the one who got there first with my fiat.
It’s been in print continuously for eighteen years and has been translated into five languages. My publisher, Pauline Books and Media, gave me the opportunity to revise and expand it in 2007.
For those of you who are serious, hard core Catholics, there’s something about this book that you should know. (Warning: if you knew me before my conversion in 1988, and especially, if you ever taught me CCD, you should probably brace yourself.) “Midwife for Souls” sports a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, courtesy of mother Church.
Wisdom for Living the Final Season
This book is addressed to the person living in the shadow of a terminal illness. I share what I’ve learned about living well in difficult circumstances from the experts, my patients. It was originally published in 2000 as part of a series called “Seeds of Strength”. I was asked to revise and expand it for a new release in 2011. It’s written for a Catholic audience from a Catholic perspective, but the lessons can be applied to all.