As a minister and hospital chaplain, Julie Interrante cared for terminally-ill patients
for 25 years. She now works as an end-of-life educator in Sacramento. I am
delighted that she’ll be providing spiritual care at Joshua’s House.
In August, I met Julie at the Clunie Community Center in Sacramento for a recorded
conversation. Standing tall, she was casually dressed and very upbeat. Julie also
exuded an inner peace that made me even more eager to discuss her calling to end-
Julie shared her career journey with me, the one that transformed her into a skilled
and compassionate hospice professional. But what really allowed her to help people
was to experience a “broken-open heart” early on as a result of her hospice
encounters. In fact, she wrote a book about it. This awaking allowed her to make a personal decision to grow spiritually. And over time, she found it easier and more satisfying to help others.
Julie made two points that really stuck with me. The first is that end of life is the
great equalizer. People are all the same regardless of net worth, social class, and
housing status. “We all need attention and tenderness during the completion of our
life. It’s all part of being human,” says Julie. Hospice workers and especially spiritual
advisors can provide this.
The second is that word “dying” is not the right term. “We’re living until we are no
longer living.” While someone may be out of medical options, the process of
completing one’s life is just beginning. Julie says no one wants to be alone and no
one wants to be forgotten. They want to create a legacy that says, “I was here.”
There is so much that hospice programs can do to make this wish come true.
Julie is excited about working with Joshua’s House. I am just as excited to have such
a beautiful and compassionate person on board.