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2013-08-22 digital edition

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2013-08-22 / Community News

THEY SAID IT

Life Lessons from Hospice Patients

“I Don’t Have to Worry about Hell”

“I don’t have to worry about hell,” Melissa exclaimed. “I’m in hell right now.”

Melissa was in her mid-fifties. She grew up in an alcoholic home, never knowing what to expect. She ran away when she was fifteen, got married two years later and had two children. When her husband turned physically abusive, she left home again.

Being a single mom was tough. She went to work. She got her GED. She went to night classes at a local community college and eventually became a registered nurse.

Just when things were looking up, her youngest daughter got into drugs. Early one Saturday morning, two uniformed officers came and informed Melissa that her daughter had been shot and killed in a drugrelated incident.

Melissa never recovered.

Now she was in a hospital bed in the back room of her family home. She’d been ill for two years and was in constant pain. She cried for most of our visits together.

“I don’t understand,” she said. “My life has been a war.”

I just listened to Melissa and then prayed for her, because I sensed that’s what she needed.

Many times we don’t have answers. In the face of intense suffering, listening and prayer are two powerful ways to bring comfort. Shutting our mouths can be one way to open our hearts.

Jesus’ earthly life was a war too. He knows all about pain and death. Lord, let the suffering know just how near you are. Bring comfort, and peace.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice. Visit him on his website at www.garyroe.com

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