“I chose to walk alongside many people who were struggling with serious illnesses. (…) For me, this meant walking the edge with them often between life and death.” from the author, Alden Sproull
I chose to walk alongside many people who were struggling with serious illnesses. I discovered choosing this path meant I needed to accept the fact I didn’t have more than an academic understanding of illness. I would need to be taught by those who were in the battle with being ill every day of their lives. For me, this meant walking the edge with them often between life and death. The years of journey have been exciting, challenging, disturbing, troubling, and life-changing. The price regarding what I was asked to let go of and the gifts given in return have been greater blessings than money could ever buy. The poems in this book are my attempts to capture what it meant to walk the edges in people’s lives. Many of these poems have been shared with families and some have found them clear pictures of their felt experience during their loved one’s process. As you walk through these poems you will experience the cutting edge in your own life, pointing to your confusion, asking what does this means for me? Those served would give you this guidance, take time for reflection, let insights go deeper, and trust the process. Who knows what you will discover?
Watch the INTERVIEW
Rev. Dr. Alden E. Sproull, originally from Monaca, Pennsylvia, is an ordained Elder and pastored churches in Pa for eight years before entering Clinical Chaplaincy. He holds a B.Th, and M.Div degrees, graduate studies in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and in Adult Education at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He holds a Doctorate in Christian Spirituality from San Francisco Theological Seminary, received in 2003. His primary ministry has been with patients in hospitals and medical clinics dealing with Cancer, providing emotional, relational, and spiritual support during the journey with a life-threatening illness. Out of this ministry grew his work as a Spiritual Director. He currently has a private practice in Shelby seeing interested persons in person and online. He has held Prayer and Spiritual Retreats around the country. He has lectured at the University of California Riverside in the Medical School teaching physicians Spiritual Assessment and Diagnosis, and taught at the graduate school of Psychology in Anaheim, CA. in the area of Spiritual Integration in Clinical practice for graduate students. He and Victoria moved to Shelby 4 years ago to be closer to their daughter and 3 grandsons who reside in Kings Mountain. His interest in poetry began as he would hear his father read him poems written for the family to enjoy. As he began ministry in the hospital, poems began to be part of healing for himself as he found words to express what he was dealing with in the care of others. This focus was also found helpful at the bedside assisting clients in writing their own poems. Thus this book of poetry is given with the many clients in mind who helped write with him the written poems.
Erin McWhirter Bryant (Teacher) –
The poem “Emotions” really touched me. My husband and I are very different with regards to our emotional expression. I express emotion vehemently and he is very reserved with emotion. I love the phrase in the poem where it says “Emotions bring us to the deepest connections as we share love in another’s arms.”
Allie Rigby (Education, poet, herder) –
Walking along the edge is a moving collection of poetry from Alden Sproull. Each poem carved space for me to rejoice, to grieve, and to reflect. What Alden has here is a raw reflection of his life, condensed into the most “human” moments and feelings.”