Surviving Hospice offers a candid look into the business of dying with helpful suggestions from a hospice chaplain.


The Description

Publication Date: October 9, 2023

Maryclaire Torinus invites you to join her at the bedsides of dying patients. Her enlightenment becomes your learning as each chapter unfolds. Her admiration for hospice helps her see its darker side. Her list of interview questions for those seeking good, community-oriented hospice is a valuable tool.

Larry Patten, Retired United Methodist Minister, Hospice Chaplain, author of A Companion for the Hospice Journey.

Maryclaire Torinus received certification in Clinical Pastoral Education for Chaplaincy at St. Camillus Senior Living Residence. She worked as a hospice chaplain and as a hospice consumer advocate for eight years. She also worked for two years as a pastoral counselor in an acute-care wing of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Complex. Maryclaire is a Wisconsin native and met her husband, Mark, in the fifth grade. She and Mark were married for 37 years until he died in 2013. They have three children and three grandchildren.

ExcerptPDF-imgThe Review

Anyone who has ever sat vigil at the bedside of a dying loved one understands the importance of making those last minutes count.

Maryclaire Torinus offers her experience as a hospice chaplain as the foundation for Surviving Hospice: A Chaplain’s Journey into the Business of Dying.

The book is divided into three parts, with the first section serving as a compilation of her memoirs, counseling, and ministering to terminally ill and dying patients. To say this section took my breath away would be an understatement. These stories highlight the different journeys people take as they draw their last breath.

The second section serves as a helpful resource in selecting the right hospice company. The author shares her experience with the corporate side and explains what can happen when the care is driven by profit rather than the needs of the patient.

The third section focuses on a cautionary tale of an industry designed around caring for dying people. The author sheds light on the need for transparency involving for-profit agencies, particularly when it comes to taxpayer funds.

Surviving Hospice offers a candid look into the business of dying with helpful suggestions from a hospice chaplain.Buy Links

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About The Author

I am intellectual, contemplative, and intuitive. I resonate deeply with the writing and theological teachings of Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr and am a One on the Enneagram Spiritual Inventory. I recently converted from Roman Catholicism to Episcopalian and I am an active member of St. Mark’s Church in Milwaukee. My colleagues have told me that I am a bridge-maker and an agent for change and spiritual growth. I am a lover of water with a passion for kayaking.

I think it’s important to take healthy (informed) risks in life, which is why I am writing this book. During my years of study in the field of music, I’ve grown to love the vocal polyphony of the Renaissance period, Broadway musicals, and the film scores composed by John Williams (Schindler’s List and E.T.) My favorite performing experiences have been in Europe, Carnegie Hall, semi-professional theater roles, and touring with my college vocal jazz ensemble.

After more than 35 years of marriage I lost my husband and best friend to heart failure. I am a mom to three millennials and am a nana to three grandchildren and three cats.

My love of travel began when I studied abroad for a year in W. Berlin, Germany during the height of the Cold War; where I was profoundly affected by the history, culture, post-war politics, and ghastly Soviet-built wall. It was my first experience living amidst suffering.

Favorite memories over the years include riding a sweaty, stumbling horse for 6 hours into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to fly-fish, camp, and raft; hoofing up “The Great Wall” of China for three hours in a torrent of rain and wind; and cross-country skiing with my husband into a Colorado valley; lit only by the moon and our head lamps.

My Bachelor Degree is in Vocal Music Education from St. Norbert College. My Master’s degree is in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch University. I trained in Clinical Pastoral Education for Chaplaincy at St. Camillus Skilled Nursing Facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was humbled to receive the Heart of Compassion Award in 2012, as one of the top chaplains in the nation for my company. I studied at the Writers Institute at UW Madison, The Clearing Folk School in Door County, and Red Oak Writing Studio.

My career in pastoral ministry culminated in my position as a full-time Hospice Chaplain at the same time that my husband was dying. Having also endured a serious clinical depression in my early fifties, my combined personal and professional experiences offered a peculiar benefit for my work in Hospice – where holding a certain comfort level with suffering and loss was imperative.

I have worked in the fields of education, hospice chaplaincy, and eldercare for almost 30 years. My chaplain ministry has afforded many opportunities to speak at funerals, conduct workshops on the industry of hospice, and teach on the Spirituality of Aging.

From this experience, I am offering my knowledge with the mission of helping consumers navigate hospice services.


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Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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Surviving Hospice offers a candid look into the business of dying with helpful suggestions from a hospice chaplain.5-STAR REVIEW: SURVIVING HOSPICE by Maryclaire Torinus