Life Stories

I am a Hospice Chaplain . It is the nature of my job that people come and go out of my life. Others often ask me whether my job is depressing and my answer is always “No but sometimes sad.” This poem expresses part of why this work is a blessing.


Life Stories


I see another name on my roster,

wonder who this soul will be.

For I know no patient is ever just a number

or a diagnosis on a chart.

They are a person with a story.

A life they lived unique to them.

No other could have walked their walk,

or lived high or low the life they did.

Every day I get to hear,

from them or from their families,

remarkable one of a kind stories.

None is quite the same,

all have surprising twist and turns;

Moments of grace, moments of struggle.

Some say they have few regrets,

some say they have too many.

Each I listen to with respect,

often wishing I had known them before

disease and age had ravished them.

Not one, even the most cantankerous

have I regretted having on my rolls.

It is a privilege and a gift

to hear these life tales,

to enter into their stories,

to affirm that their stories

are worthy of being heard.


Diantha Zschoche 7/14