You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life. So says Dame Cicely Saunders who spent her life developing the hospice movement that has been copied all over the world.
Alan Titchmarsh talk with Dame Cicerly Saunders, O.M.
In tonight’s Sweet inspiration, Morning has broken, Just as I am and Be thou my vision; three of the hymns thatare sweet insperation today is Cicerly Saunders.
I: Little boys are supposed to be engine drivers and little girls are supposed to be nurses so, did you want to be nurse from being a little girl?
D: No, I didn’t in particuly but I was always concerned about people and having been sort of unpopular at school I saw myself I had the feeling for the people and so projected it.
A: Did youfit in at school?
D: I was lonely, I didn’t know how to step out of my loneliness and I think a lot of people are like/ liked that???? that and only later in life perhaps you come to realise that if you forget about yourself a little bit more and are more concerned about the other person then things begin to work.
A: Do you think you were a little selfish?
D: Yes, alot selfish.
A: What about singing? Your first hymn is Ye Holy Angles Bright
I love singing, I have song in chorus really all my life I have chosen Ye Holy Angles Bright really for two reasons, firstly because it reminds me of my godmother who was a really important stable person of my life, she gave my all the rights books in a home where we didn’t go to church or anything like that, shewas always there she was always the same, and right to the end of her life she was an uneviding presence, she is there. And the second reason have coming right onto hospice we had our 25th anniversary service in Westminster Abby nearly two year sago now and we processed in to sing the Holly Angels Bright, the abby was full and nearly three quartes of the congregation where family of people whohad been in Saint Cristopher’s.
YE HOLY ANGELS BRIGHT ( HYMN)
A: At 16 you were an atheist, why?
D: I was really involved in chorus, I was not all that, well I was very uninspired by school chapel although I enjoyed singing in the chorus and I wanted to revolt, so I said I was, and remained so, until the begining of the war I bought a little paper back book called Good God by a suitedname John Heaven and that made sense, God in a human life and I really felt with my head I was in composing what I need but yet it wasn´t real for myself and it was only after my parents separated, after I had been invalided from nursing and had a very hected year in Oxford and I was a bit tired, that I met some envangelical friends on holiday who set out the very simple basic facts that anevangelic group would give an incuaire and it made sense and I remember going off from myself after we had been singing Just as I am, and feeling well I can really say that I am a model and going off and saying please, could it be real this time and not just somehow me, and then feeling as if someone had said it is all right , I have done it and feeling as if I have been turned round andthat I have been battleing into the wind really all my life and suddenly the wind was behind me, and it has been like, go on searching ever since . Although it sounds a bit spoky that someone says I have been told, doesn´t it; but I was.
JUST AS I AM (HYMN)
A: If you were told that this was the path for you how much were you told and how much did you have to decide for youself,
After Isuddenly realised that I believed with my heart as well as with my head, as if were said what I have to do, to say thank you and to serve and I didn´t know for 3 years and carry on doing what I was doing, which was being social worker and then I met in the first ward I took over when I get a job at Saint Thomasy, a polish jew of 40 who had come from the Warsov ghetto but before the up rising,...