Chapter Eight: Blessed is the Couple Who Extends Tender Care When Suffering

Tom and Anne Butler

Love is our true destiny.
We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone –
we find it with another.

Thomas Merton

Tom and Anne discovered their gift of one another and for one another on the occasion of Tom’s beloved younger brother, Richard’s diagnosis of advanced bladder cancer in 1998 and that gift has become a treasure beyond words. Anne was instrumental in coordinating home hospice services for Richard so his wish to die peacefully at home was able to be honored.  The unceasing paradoxical dance of love and loss and grief and gratitude remain vibrant threads in the rich tapestry of their marriage and continue to animate their lives devoted to contemplation and action lived in solitude and community. 

Anne gently tends her diverse and rewarding roles of adult nurse practitioner, mentor, coach, writer, speaker, Palliative Medicine thought leader, healthcare consultant, artist of the heart, and midwife for the soul through her emerging end-of-life doula practice. Tom is a born servant leader and contemplative photographer with a deep pastoral soul who has worked extensively in healthcare ministry leadership formation integrating care of the soul and contemplative practices into the life’s blood of faith-based organizations. 

Tom and Anne share the fullness of life together – side by side and heart to heart in their beautiful mountain home in Travelers Rest, SC.