Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Blessed

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caregiver-dohle-webThe ones cared for slowly wind down,
eating less,
even favorite foods do not tempt,
or at least not as they once did.

Often becoming more gentle
with easier smiles
much of the fight is gone
if there in the first place.

There are times of confusion
yet even then they are soon forgotten,
so the underlying peace is in reality
undisturbed.

Some are gentle from the beginning,
others fight,
most are somewhere in the middle,
yet in the end all are loved
since to truly know another
and to see them at their best and worst
is to in the end love them,
there is nothing else to do.

I love to watch them sleep on night watch,
they are at peace,
breathing deeply free from all worries
though soon to awake for another day
or for a simple cleaning during the night.

When it is their time to go
I find it an honor to be with them,
to simply sit
hold their hand
and yes pray
for they are being born into a new life,
perhaps caregivers are mid-wives,
or in my case a mid-husband,
journeying with them on the last mile of their lives,
I am blessed,
by my work,
by those I take care of
and also with the other caregivers I work with.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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