AUCKLAND

 



I was born in the USA and attained a B.A. in Liberal Arts. Then after travelling through Europe and Africa, I married a New Zealander and we traveled through Asia to NZ in 1973. We have two adult sons.

I became a Mahayana Buddhist in Nepal in 1973. With my husband and two other people we started the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in NZ, Dorje Chang Institute, in 1976. In 1995, I founded and am the Managing Director of Amitabha Hospice Service Trust. I am the current Vice-Chairperson of the New Zealand Buddhist Council. In 1992 I became a Registered Nurse. My nursing experience has led me to specialise in Palliative care. I was critically injured in a car accident in 2008, which gave me a lot of experience of being on the other side of the caring equation.

In my work as a nurse with dying patients in their own homes, I felt my usefulness was more as a spiritual companion supporting their transition than as a medical practitioner.

I was born in Rotorua to Canadian parents who had recently migrated to New Zealand. I am from a very large Catholic family, and my spiritual roots are steeped in Christian values. I have been a volunteer for Amitabha Hospice for almost three years, and have undertaken the Peaceful Passing Companion training a year and a half ago.

Several years ago a close friend of mine died of cancer, and he was accompanied on his journey toward death, by an Amitabha volunteer. He spoke very fondly of this person and how much she helped him in his journey. This is what inspired me to become an Amitabha volunteer myself.

I spent 16 years as a Catholic nun, and my Christian faith continues to be my source of inspiration and strength. I work as a mental health nurse, and have a special interest in the spiritual lives of people and ways in which I can accompany them on their spiritual journey. I am inspired by people of all faiths, beliefs and spiritual experiences, and feel privileged to walk alongside people as a spiritual companion on their journey towards death.