From being first-generation American to being in the first class with women at West Point and a 2019 Harvard graduate, Joan Grey hopes her "Didn't See That Coming" experiences may ease the journey for others.

Injuries during an Army parachute jump ended her military career but opened her eyes to hospital chaplaincy. Serving as a chaplain in trauma centers, she discovered few people expect illness, injury, or death. A lack of planning compounds the ordeal for ER or ICU patients, whose concerns range from the mundane – "Who will walk and feed my dog while I'm hospitalized?" – to existential -- "How long would I want to be kept alive on machines?" Not everyone has a pet, but we all face an expiration date.

While studying for a master's degree in religion, the urgency and importance of dealing with impermanence was reinforced. In consecutive years, Joan was trapped on the DC metro during an electrical fire, had a tree fall in front of her car on the highway, and was hit by a bus. Thus, fate helped with the choosing of her thesis topic: Awakening to Mortality. We deny and resist, but no one escapes death.

Joan continues exploring the road all will travel, wondering if we can re-frame death from being a limiting constraint to a liberating force, a theme she incorporates into writing Passport for Life™ (PFL): Preparing for the trip of a lifetime.



June 21, 2020

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How do we overcome fear? It’s more complicated than someone saying: don’t be afraid. Taming this emotion requires more than a command or suggestion, even from a trusted source.

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