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When Evening Comes


Written in the intimate style of a diary, When Evening Comes looks into the lives of two women, Bivie and Amber, who share a common story. They both have cancer, and they are going to die.

Presented from the view point of a hospice volunteer assigned to the cases, author Christine Andreae tells the story of her own experience as she helps to care for Bivie and Amber as they pass through life’s last journey. Writing of her personal involvement in the lives of these two women, Christine gives her touching and yet factual account of the daily experiences of both volunteer and patients.

After taking hospice training at Blue Ridge Hospice in Winchester, Virginia, the hospice volunteer coordinator assigned Christine a case that ultimately moved frompure professionalism to friendship. As part one of When Evening Comes begins, readers meet Bivie, mother, wife, and friend. Her struggle and that of her family members and friends plays out in an intense at-home drama that culminates in her death from colon cancer. This is an incredible story of the strength and character of an entire family facing extreme pressure.

Amber’s story begins in part two of the book. As the volunteer coordinator describes the situation, Christine writes, “I can’t help feeling as if my path has circled back to Bivie, that I’m at another beginning, and that inside the sweep of that seven-year circle, the ghosts of subsequent patients are observing me with sad, patient eyes.” Though similarities exist with Bivie, this new case presents new trials: a tense and demanding husband, no spiritual Images, and worries about money. The names in Amber’s story are fictitious; the story is real.

Christine’s book offers support to readers who are looking for information on dying and serves as a guide for hospice volunteers whose unselfishness and kindness help families and individuals walk a path that can only be walked one time.