Jane’s elderly friend and fellow volunteer, Dorothy, is the focus of this week’s chapter. Five weeks ago, we read about Dorothy’s great gift of listening. Today is about Jane saying goodbye to her friend for the last time. Dorothy’s health continues to deteriorate. Jane goes to visit her, noting that it’s hard for her to visit those in hospitals and nursing homes. The women enjoy their visit, and a few days later Dorothy passes. Jane concludes by discussing the funeral and the donations brought to the store by Dorothy’s children when they clean out her house. Jane acknowledges that even someone going through your things after you’re gone is a gift.
My heart aches to hear about the passing of this dear friend of Jane’s. I echo her sentiment about the difficulty of visiting those in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. No one wants to be there, but there usually isn’t any other choice. I’ve spent considerable time in such places in my 31 years between my late grandmother and then my mom. It may not be a glorious thing to do, but it is a corporal work of mercy that we are called to.
- Have you ever visited someone in a nursing home or similar facility?
- Have you ever thought of such visits as a type of ministry?