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Updated February 2015

Caregiving | Hospice | Death & Dying | Suicide | Grief | Poems | Prayers


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©Copyright -- Background and Angel graphic design by JoAnn Chambers

Excerpt from Walking in the Garden of Souls by George Anderson

One day, the young priest received a call about an emergency. The call came on Good Friday, the day when Roman Catholics around the world would mourn the death of Christ. He had been alerted that a young boy had been struck by a car while riding his bicycle, and that because of his grave injuries, it might be necessary to perform the last rites. He rushed to the scene of the accident, and found the boy lying in the street and the boy's mother kneeling beside him, screaming. The paramedics worked quickly to place the boy on a gurney and transport him to the hospital, and the priest rode in the ambulance with the boy and his mother to the hospital. Looking down at the boy, his heart sank; the boy had been badly injured and might not survive much longer. As the ambulance weaved through the New York streets, it became evident that the boy was dying.

By the time they reached the hospital, the boy had already died. Seeing the expression on the paramedics's faces, his mother became hysterical. She pulled her son into her arms and carried him through the emergency room doors. Doctors and nurses knew there was nothing more they could do. His mother stood there, inconsolable, clutching her dead son in her arms and screaming. For this priest and the others, it was a terrifying sight. No one knew what could poissibly be said at this moment to bring any comfort to a mother who had just watched her son's precious life slip away. A nurse slowly walked over to the mother and helped her gently lower the boy onto a stretcher. "Another woman lost her son today," the nurse said quietly. "Her name was Mary, and her son's name was Jesus. You are not alone in your pain."