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From the author

Hospice in Lent: Beryl's Spring 2022 Letter

Spring 2022


Though this newsletter is a year late, I've thought of you often and planned to connect earlier. I tried several times but could not summon the will to continue. I'd run short of inspiration.


When asked how I'm doing, I say, "great" but does the ability to smile equate with feeling great?


My husband Bill, who was diagnosed with interstitial terminal lung disease three years ago, was recently admitted to hospice.  Lent is almost over. It's been a time when the cross has intersected with our lives. I've been practicing Lectio Divina: meditating on the daily gospel readings that take us with Jesus on his final journey to Jerusalem. He knows he will suffer a horrendous death when he arrives, yet he never turns back, never ceases to minister to those who crowd around him seeking hope and healing.


Helplessness besets me as I watch Bill struggle to breathe and know I cannot help him. I want to deny what lies ahead, just as the disciples tried to do with Jesus. Death in Jerusalem could not possibly lie in wait for him they insisted.


In her book The Grace in Dying, Kathleen D. Singh: quotes Dr. Kubler-Ross as saying "death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death."


On reading the above words, I was struck with the knowledge that Bill and I have, in this experience of hospice, the opportunity to achieve spiritual transcendence. Now, rather than fear I feel hope and gratitude that we have this time to prepare for separation.


I hope all goes well with you. That you and your loved ones have negotiated Covid with courage, and that you greet Easter with joy.





PS My email account has grown unwieldy again. So that I might keep friends in a separate account, please change my email address from:  bsbissell@icloud.com to bsbissell@boreal.org.