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Hospice Chaplain Kerry Egan on Living Boldly (ep. 566)

Kerry Egan

John O’Leary welcomes hospice chaplain Kerry Egan to the Live Inspired Podcast as she shares how live boldly, love fiercely and dream extraordinarily.

As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan quickly realized she’d been granted an invaluable chance to witness firsthand what she calls the “spiritual work of dying”—the work of finding or making meaning of one’s life.

In her years spent working in hospice care, Kerry has listened to patients reflect on feelings of hope and regret, shame and pride, mystery and revelation and secrets held too long. Most of all, though, she listened as her patients talked about love—love for their children and partners and friends; love they didn’t know how to offer; love they gave unconditionally; love they, sometimes belatedly, learned to grant themselves.

My friends, this conversation is not about dying. It’s about how to live boldly, love fiercely and dream extraordinarily.

Join us as Kerry shares how to find courage in the face of fear, the strength to make amends, and how to be profoundly compassionate and incredibly empathetic.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • “No one got through life without a struggle.”
  • The life-long illness and eventual death of her father led Kerry to become a chaplain.
  • A year after her father’s death, Kerry embarked on the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrim route through Northern Spain, where she faced her pent up grief and anger.
  • “Life can only be understood by looking backward; but it must be lived looking forward” — Soren Kierkegaard
  • Finding shade in the heat: There are times in all of our lives where we don’t feel like there is any comfort.
  • Kerry views chaplaincy as where you work with others who want to work with you who are seeking understanding in their lives. In that relationship, you are a tool in their spiritual toolbox to help them come to meaning in their lives, especially when facing death.
  • Kerry reminds us that even renowned spiritual thinker and writer Henri Nouwen faced spiritual crises throughout his life.
  • “Sometimes you need someone who is not expecting anything from you.”
  • “There are as many regrets as there are lives. A regret shows you what you wish was different.”
  • Taking regret seriously: Kerry encourages us to look at things we’ve regretted in the past and examine what you can change now.
  • There is so much love in the world, the love is stronger than the sickness. Years after a patient named Jim felt compelled to share a message from the Holy Spirit, Kerry was able to relay the meaning of that message to his wife.
  • Get a copy of Kerry Egan’s first book Fumbling here and her latest book On Living here.

Did you enjoy today’s conversation?

You’ll love my conversation with Antonio Neves. Antonio poses the question, “what if the best thing that’s going to happen in your life hasn’t happened yet?”. It’s the perfect conversation that will leave you energized to take bold actions in leading a life free from regret and overflowing with love, happiness, purpose and fulfillment. Listen to Antonio Neves on ep. 418 today.

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KERRY EGAN'S LIVE INSPIRED 7

  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. My ability to get lost in fiction.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. My laptop, photos and my children's artwork.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. My dad and I'd say, "I'm sorry."
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Not advice but it's how my husband Alex exudes a lightness of being and his ability to find humor in the absurdity.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. I wouldn't offer myself any advice because I wouldn't have learned what I have learned. I'm glad I've learned it, even if it was hard.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. She worked hard and loving people a lot. She took it very seriously to be as loving as possible.