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Heart Like a Bonfire

By: John Hughes
Narrated by: Nic Davis
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Publisher's Summary

Heart Like A Bonfire is a confluence of poignant tales from within a hospice company. Based on the author's 13 years as a spiritual care provider and bereavement specialist in a hospice, it explores dying, death, grief, and bereavement from several perspectives, facing these with a blend of gritty honesty and loving spirituality.

As patient Ezra comes very near death, a nurse prescribes fentanyl for him as painkiller, and Ezra’s son Bob objects. Bob calls for an ambulance, and Ezra perishes in the back of same. The patient Beth approaches death with fears of hell, saturated as she is with Roman Catholic guilt over her sexuality. Youthful patient Benjamin, married to devoted Mabel, pancake waitress, has a rebellious, off-color outlook on life and proceeds through the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross five stages of dying. 

Chaplain Richard and Nursing Aide Mona tell the story of their involvement with these, in alternating, sometimes quirky and original voices. They explore their own feelings about mortality, and the work they are doing, and describe their evolving perspectives on these characters, and five others. The others are brought in for extra color, poignancy and a sense of the context of the work of hospice.

The patients and their families have their own say, as well, describing in unvarnished tones what it is like for them to be dying, or having a loved one dying.

This novel evokes in a listener feelings of deep-seated emotion, as they grapple with the deaths they see emerging on the page. Also, imparted is a sense of peace over the fact that we are all facing this perennial challenge together. Insights about the nature of the death process, and the corporate nature of the American hospice industry, are shared.

©2023 John R. Hughes (P)2023 John R. Hughes

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