Thursday, September 06, 2007

A possibility for the future ...

Our local paper had an article yesterday about a woman who volunteers as an "Abider" at the nursing home where her husband is a resident. I had never heard the term before, but several area organizations are apparently starting up volunteer Abider programs. Abiders are volunteers who sit with patients in the process of dying, to address any spiritual or physical needs they might have, and to assure them they are not alone. What a wonderful idea! The woman featured in the article often reads to patients from the Psalms or the New Testament, sings hymns, talks to them, and holds their hands. So no one has to die alone.

This really strikes a chord with me. I did not do such a good job of abiding when my parents were at the end of their lives: my Mom died while I was heading home to collect my kids from the various neighbors who were looking after them, and my Dad died while I was waiting at the door of his hospital room for the surgical resident whom I'd paged (naturally, my back was turned to Dad). So at present I'm about 0 for 2. Nothing to brag about there.

Yet, I think this is an important ministry, and I think it's one I could do. Of course, there's the little problem of my job at present. Unless there's a way to schedule dying for nights and weekends only, I'm going to have to wait till I retire ...

Another thing to add to the growing list of future possibilities.

3 comments:

Gabrielle said...

I've never heard the term abider either, but what a blessed calling.

Jan said...

I've never heard of the term abider, and wish I'd even had an inkling of that concept when my parents died. I hope the abider movement is around the country. I like the thought, as you do.

sharecropper said...

I've never hear the term abider either, but I have sat by several bedsides so that no one would die alone. One was a Jewish woman dying of Alzheimers, and I was in seminary taking Hebrew; so I said prayers for her in Hebrew. You never know what a person can hear. What a wonderful name for one who personifies the abiding love of God.