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At the risk of being Debbie Downer, the polar opposite of my usual Pollyanna, please bear with me as Debbie speaks first, and then Pollyanna. While talking with my best friend in the wake of the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, I was utterly taken aback by her question: “does your church have security precautions in place for this kind of thing?” Following our conversation, when I hung up the phone, I sat with overwhelming sadness in my heart and literally, tears in my eyes.… Read More

I’d rather you heard it from me…..

Okay, I’d rather you heard this from me than through the grapevine. I have an embarrassing confession to make. First, I want to tell you a story I’ve heard in the Finnie family for many years.  My telling of it may not be entirely accurate.… Read More

What Would Matter Most……?

Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions.  Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so. On behalf of the United Church of Christ, in Norwell, I invited, in fact, URGE you, to gather with friends, neighbors and peers to watch the PBS’s FRONTLINE documentary Being Mortal, which explores what matters most to patients and families experiencing serious illness and encourages awareness of the importance of talking about end-of-life preferences and goals with loved ones and medical professionals.… Read More


I was going to share this column weeks ago when a humid spell had me panting for a cool breeze. Then, came some unseasonably cool few days! I realized if I shared my love of fall before Labor Day some might feel I was wishing their summer away.… Read More

Palliative Care and Hospice Q & A, Part 4 in a Series

This week, Frequently Asked Questions: Palliative Care and Hospice Care What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care? Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment.… Read More

File for Life – IT’S YOUR LIFE- Part 3 in a Series

This column is Part 3 of 4 in this series which I hope is providing FOOD FOR THOUGHT encouraging conversations about advanced care planning ahead of serious illness or a medical crisis. By having these conversations early, you and your loved ones can make informed decisions if or when it becomes necessary.… Read More

How You Live, Part 2 in a Series

Previously, I shared Part 1: “When is it time to call in hospice? and Why?” which offered some FOOD FOR THOUGHT that you might rather avoid, like when your mom made you try one forkful of Brussel sprouts or liver. It’s likely you don’t want to digest this information, either, but I hope you’ll at least try to let a bit of it in.… Read More

The Cardinal- Part 1-1/2 in a Series

Several weeks ago I began writing a series of columns related to end of life planning, hospice care, and choices. Daunting, but in my opinion, essential topics to ponder. I hope you will hang in here with me, read this series, and take it as vital Food For Thought.… Read More

When is it time to call in hospice? and Why? Part 1 in a series

First of all, I want to say that I’m not an expert on the end of life (EOL) process. That said, I have had the honor of being present with people shortly before, or as they passed from this life. I realize that idea creeps out many people, but to me, the experience is a sacred honor.… Read More

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