Editor’s note: Home Sweet Home is a regular feature appearing in McKnight’s Home Care Daily. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Diane Eastabrook at email@example.com.
If you were to ask most people if they are frightened of death, most would say yes. But in her book, parish nurse and grief group facilitator Beverly Wilkins, who lives in Ontario, Canada, makes a case that death is not something to fear.
Wilkins’ book, “Hi God, I’m Home! Wow!” addresses the terror that many people hold about death and dying and reassures them that the spirits of their deceased loved ones are, in fact, still with them.
Registered as a nurse since 1969 and having worked as a home care nurse for 15 years, Wilkins has encountered death “hundreds of times” across multiple settings, she recently told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.
In her book, Wilkins shares her patients’ many spiritual encounters with seeing signs of their loved ones, from “butterflies that consistently land on deck[s]” to unexplained “pebbles on gravestones.”
Wilkins states that her patients’ stories of these encounters are “like gifts,” because they “help other people to not fear death” and to instead look for those “strange and wonderful messages from their loved ones.”
Having lost her husband seven years ago, Wilkins has undergone her share of grief and mourning and understands the importance of the grieving process. However, Wilkins thinks it is imperative for people to move past their grief and to look for signs that their loved ones are with them in spirit.
“Death is the number one fear for so many people,” Wilkins explained. However, she hopes the stories in her book can “help people to understand that they are never alone.”
In home care settings, this message can also be incredibly powerful for those in the process of dying. “I notice that at home, especially, they need inspirational stories so they don’t fear dying alone at home,” she said.
Though Wilkins, who writes weekly for her church newsletter’s 500 recipients, states that her book is “spiritual in the broadest sense,” she believes both nonreligious and religious readers will find it helpful when attempting to move past their grief.
“All people are motivated by some external source, whether that be God, Allah or their own intuition and gut feelings,” Wilkins explained. Wilkins hopes people can find solace in knowing that their loved one is at peace.
When asked what the main message readers should take away from her book is, Wilkins stated that she hopes that people can learn to “not fear death” and to “become comfortable with the concepts of death and dying.”