Soul Support: Spiritual Encounters at Life's End: Memoir of a Hospital Chaplain

Soul Support: Spiritual Encounters at Life's End: Memoir of a Hospital Chaplain

by Joan Paddock Maxwell

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Soul Support: Spiritual Encounters at Life's End: Memoir of a Hospital Chaplain by Joan Paddock Maxwell

A young dancer's last hope--a bone marrow transplant--has failed. A homeless man, in the final stages of AIDS, refuses to speak. A newly retired woman has just received a terminal diagnosis and is wailing in despair. What can we learn about death, dying, and the human spirit as we journey with a hospital chaplain into sickrooms like these? Soul Support tells true stories of people coming to terms--or not--with their final days. It offers intimate, behind-the-scenes accounts of the many ways patients, their families and friends, and hospital staff all deal with death and dying. It speaks to readers reflecting on their own mortality or the life-threatening illness of a loved one, and tells of the sometimes-astonishing events that can occur when people are in their last hours of life. The book tells not only their stories, but also the chaplain's. It relates how she listened and learned and stumbled and grew. Soul Support speaks to believers and nonbelievers alike, providing information, inspiration, and hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498244534
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 06/20/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Joan Paddock Maxwell was trained and served as a chaplain in three acute-care hospitals in the Washington, DC area. During six years as palliative care chaplain, she served patients with life-threatening illnesses. The co-author of two previously published books, she received a Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary and was endorsed as a hospital chaplain by the Episcopal Church. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband David.

Table of Contents

About This Book ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 Listening 1

Great Is Thy Faithfulness 3

Calling Dr. Paddock 5

"Do You Feel Different Inside?" 8

God and Me (1) 11

Night Anointing 15

My Call 21

"Row Your Boat" 21

Chaplain School 27

Beauty in the ICU 28

Handcuffs 29

About Dying 33

Hospital Ministry 39

2 Learning 43

Patient Teachers 45

Behind the Scenes 50

"My Parents' Fault" 53

Permanent Ink 56

At the Foot of the Bed 58

Helplessness 61

God in the Window 65

The Palliative Care Office 66

At the Foot of the Cross 68

The Grocery Cart 71

Five Minutes 73

Ms. Trouten's Pillow 75

The Little Space 81

Ophelia Rivers, Trusting God 84

God and Me (2) 88

Vulnerability in the Hospital 91

My Lady with ALS 97

Deep Diving 101

Elevator Chaplaincy 103

Exorcism 105

Ash Wednesday 107

Praying, Out Loud 110

Facing an Amputation 115

The Crow 116

Dead Bodies 118

On the Vent 122

"Not Me" 128

3 Loving 133

Ms. Doka with Shining Eyes 135

"Useless Old Woman" 139

Hold the Phone 142

Bleeding Out 146

Mr. Rupert's Blessing 149

The Singing Bowl 152

Under the Pillow 155

"I Know that Prayer!" 158

Expletive Undeleted 160

Psalm 88 161

Silent Night 164

Witch Doctor 169

No Family 175

Peace-Be Still 183

"We Have a Situation" 186

Garden Communion 190

The Holy Koran 192

Many Mansions 194

Maria, Full of Grace 196

Ending 201

Afterword 202

Appendices 205

1 Surviving the Hospital 206

2 Care Package for a Hospital Patient 209

3 When Someone You Love Is Terminally Ill 212

Bibliography 217

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