When Guideposts asked me recently if I would consider writing a blog for their website, I had to ask myself, “What is a blog?” One of my sons helped by sending examples of blogs with which he was familiar. I got the picture and so, I begin.
I’m a nurse, as are many of my family members. It is our history and a profession many Irish girls of my day entered. My Dad suggested nursing to me when I was fifteen, telling me it was a noble profession and one for which he felt God had equipped me. I loved him and trusted he always had my best interests at heart.
A three-year, Franciscan Nursing School degree, taught me to see Jesus in every patient I served and the constant reminder by Sister Naureen Marie, our nursing director that, “Jesus loves you, little one” gave me all the confidence I would ever need in nursing or in life. To be told at the tender age of 20 that “you belong at the bedside of God’s children” is to know the intimate tap on the shoulder, when you sense God’s own heart directing you.
You may have experienced this at some time in your lives when you know for sure that God is allowing you to experience or understand something greater than yourselves. You have only to be open to it and thankful for the opportunity to experience a “moment of light” during which God is directing you personally.
I knew I was where I belonged when hospice nursing came to call. To me, it is the purest nursing you can ever do and you feel you can reach up and touch the face of God. My patients knew me as the barefoot nurse because I always took off my shoes at the bedside of a dying patient. Everyone thought it was because I was tall, but in truth I felt I was standing on very holy ground, as I watched God draw His children home to Himself.
When people become terminally ill and begin to die, they develop entirely new ways of hearing and understanding life. There is no longer any reason to pretend or hide. Awareness occurs that life, as we know it, is coming to an end and a new life is about to begin. If you are listening carefully, you can tell that a person is on a very different plane and while they are still with us, they are experiencing eternity as well.
When Glimpses of Heaven was published in 2008, I got phone calls, emails and letters from people who had experienced the death of a loved one and had stories to tell. It seemed to me that a floodgate had opened and every question and experience came rolling out.
I invite you to share your story or ask questions related to end-of-life situations by emailing me at email@example.com. I envision the Guideposts “Glimpses of Heaven” blog evolving into an interactive sharing of life and death experiences through which we come to understand that the face of God is as close to us as we are to ourselves.
Let us begin.