Patricia and I just had an extraordinary experience with prison inmate hospice workers. Oprah has done a powerful documentary on the hospice workers in Angola prison in Louisiana, the largest maximum security prison in the US. The inmates have been educated to provide hospice care for dying inmates (5000, and most will die there—no parole for life sentences in five states). It is redemptive work. Some say the last time they saw someone die is the person they killed. Others serve life for three marijuana offenses—three strikes and you are out. I had the privilege of doing workshops on calling and the power of your past for these men, and the visiting women from the women’s penitentiary.
OMG! Which I don’t use lightly.
My friend Carol McAdoo has answered the call to bring hospice to prisons. When she started 12 years ago there were a handful of programs. Now there are 80.
The sorrow you can feel! The spiritual struggle and strength. The humility and humanity. The fact that these men and women look for ways to relieve suffering, their own and others.
The butterfly picture is from the quilt in the museum. The inmates (offenders in their language) do beautiful quilting. The word psyche in Greek means butterfly. The butterfly is being released from the shackled hands. The human spirit lives on, and on, and on.