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Wrapped in a Shawl of Love

As we gathered as a family in room 214, it would be the longest night of the year. Our personal winter solstice was about to unfold.

It wasn't easy saying goodbye. It wasn't easy hearing, "The end is near." We laughed. We cried. We whispered our love. We were longing for reassurance! it never came.

The beautiful strains of "Spirit Wings" lifted our spirits as the hospital clock ticked down our goodbyes.

A beautiful prayer shawl brought a warm glow to the face of the one we loved. The shawl had been chosen with care; it had been selected for its delicate shades of lavender - mother's favourite colours.

The shawl brought comfort.

She died as she had lived, with grace and dignity.

The shawl was carefully removed and placed around our shoulders. We prayed for healing of our broken spirits. We left the room in silence.

During the past few days as nurses had gently rearranged the shawl, the label "Prayerfully made by Aurora United church" could be seen, and just as often a nurse would say, "Please tell me the story of the shawl."

Sharing the story of the many loving hands that had crafted shawls brought such joy. Soon the hospital was a buzz with the story of the Prayer Shawl and Parish Nursing Ministries.

This families' matriarch had held her seven day old great granddaughter for the very first and the very last time just five days before. She had shed tears of joy! I suddenly knew where the prayer shawl must go.

As the shawl was placed over the babies cradle, I vowed to keep the story alive. The story of a prayer shawl, created in loved, chosen in love, and forever wrapping a family in love.

Carol Rose-Kudelka