Linda Watson

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As a former pastoral and supportive care professional, Linda Watson, M.R.E., M.Div., Th.M. found herself drawn, again and again, to work with the dying and bereaved. With degrees from the University of Calgary, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and the University of Toronto, Linda worked in parish ministry and later as the Peer Support and Supportive Care Coordinator of a breast cancer resource centre in Winnipeg, MB. Where others sometimes kept their distance, Linda moved in close and became a trusted companion of the dying and their loved ones on many occasions. She learned at least some of the questions to ask, some of the silences to leave hanging, and some of the words to offer when it was time. Her counseling and theological training, plus the experiences life provided her, combined to assist her in being a positive presence at bedsides and elsewhere with those facing death.

It was an event in her personal life, however, that moved her to put some of the wisdom she had gained in the context of these experiences down on paper. Her sister, who had been battling cancer for a few years, was suddenly given 6 weeks to live and Linda was too far distant to be there in the ways she desired. Writing down kernels of wisdom and quotations she knew would be helpful to her sister led eventually to the compilation of this volume, one that has been tested now by others and evaluated favorably by other professionals in the field of end of life care.