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May I Walk You Home? Book Review

Updated on January 29, 2020
Marie Flint profile image

Marie reads a variety of spiritual books and materials and is a student of the Teachings of the Ascended Masters East and West.


Hutchison, Joyce and Rupp, Joyce; May I Walk You Home?: Courage and Comfort for Caregivers of the Very Ill; Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana; 2006 (5th printing/1st 1999), pp. 158 ISBN-10 0-87793-670-6 / ISBN-13 978-0-87793-670-1

Finding the Book

Oftentimes the books I cherish most are not necessarily from the New York Times' Best Seller List. This one was happened upon after spending an hour at the Tea House on Newman Street in my hometown area and wandering to The Book Nook shop. One-dollar books lined a shelf outside the entryway.

After sifting through many books, the title, "May I Walk You Home?" caught my eye. The commentary on the back of the book noted how walking a person home had been a tradition in small towns during earlier decades.

I knew immediately this little book had the potential to provide a deep and lasting friendship. I was not disappointed.

But there was a time when walks home from school, from church, or from a dance were commonplace. Walking someone home was a way of offering protection and guidance, an opportunity to reflect on life and what had just been experienced.

— Anon, from the back cover of May I Walk You Home?
Joyce Hutchison (left) and Joyce Rupp (right)
Joyce Hutchison (left) and Joyce Rupp (right) | Source

About the Authors

At the time of the fifth printing of the book in 2006, Joyce Hutchison worked as a Certified Registered Nurse of Hospice and Patient Advocate at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Her work experience included oncology, home care, and hospice team director. Joyce died in May 2016 of lung cancer.

Joyce Rupp is a member of O.S.M. (Ordo Servorum Mariae) and public lecturer. She has led retreats in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Mercy Medical Center, Joyce Hutchison's Former Workplace
Mercy Medical Center, Joyce Hutchison's Former Workplace | Source

A Workshop by Joyce Rupp

Layout and Chapters

The first 25 pages consists of Acknowledgments, Foreword, Introduction, and a "mini-glossary" called About the Stories and Prayers. Twenty-five stories range from two to three pages, followed by a brief Caregiver's Reflection of Meditation, Prayer, and For Today (a thought for contemplation).

The chapters, written by Ms. Hutchison, are first-person voice and bear such titles as 1. Giving Permission to Die, 6. A Long Kept Secret, 12. The Gate Won't Open, 20. Suspicion, Then Trust, and 25. The Power of Prayer.

Sections at the End of the Book

"A Note of Encouragement" by Joyce Rupp gives the reader a two-page story, a friendly tribute to Joyce Hutchison, as a means to encourage a hospice caregiver and the bereaved.

Finally, there is the poem "Leave-Taking" by Sandra Bury. The blank-verse poem has 18 stanzas of varying length and is dedicated to the dying.

May I Walk You Home? Benefits

At this stage of my life, my entire father's natal family is deceased, as well as my mother's. My half brother John passed at the age of 32 of leukemia when I was just out of college. Reading one chapter at night, along with the reflection section at the end of each story, helped me put a perspective on my relatives' passings, many of whose wakes I had not attended.

I became impressed with the service and care of the hospice worker--or anyone who tends a dying loved one at his or her last moment of breath. The read was very comforting just before relinquishing myself to sleep, and I can recommend it to anyone who seeks a meaningful perspective about life through the compassion of the heart.

Other Books by Joyce Rupp (Ave Maria Press)

These books were the ones listed at the back of May I Walk You Home? In a YouTube interview video, Sr. Rupp says Fly While You Still Have Wings is her 23rd book.

The Cup of Our Life (1997) This paperback book explores spiritual growth through the question, "Do you know you are a love song?"

May I Have This Dance? (1992) A collection of meditation and prayer for the entire year as a wholesome "dance with the Divine."

Out of the Ordinary (1999) This book contains prayers, poems, and reflections for every season and counseling resources for the individual and groups.

Inviting God In (2001) The author reflects on scriptural passages to encourage the reader to open his heart and discover the meaning of God's word in his life.


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    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      3 months ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      It's a very special book, Umesh. It's perfect for preparing for a restful sleep. There's so much love and dedication in it.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Nice review. Well presented. Thanks.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Isn't that amazing of this book title. You shared your best experience and from all sides. Walking home with someone you close to ought to make you feel that way.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      I can tell that this book is very inspirational and uplifting. The concept of walking someone home seems practical as well as symbolic. I would love to read it. Thanks for the review.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 months ago from Fresno CA

      Dealing with people who are terminally ill is so challenging because you are making deep friendships with someone who will be gone soon and will be deeply missed. It takes a special person to do that. By the way, I love your book reviews.



    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      4 months ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      Eric, Pamela, John, and Liz--thank you for taking the time to read my "short and sweet" review.

      Walking a person home, traditionally, Eric, was much slower and intimate than any car ride, wherein the driver has to focus his attention on other traffic and keep his eye on the road.

      I used to walk with my elder brother and sister to the corner of the road (about 1/8 mile) in the spring to catch the school bus because the road was too muddy for the bus to navigate. This same country road is paved today. I remember, though, that I was just glad to be with my brother and sister. And, yes, I felt protected and guided.

      Occasionally during the summertime, I get to walk with my neighbor friend Jan who is one year my senior. When we walk, we have long talks, a "catching up" kind of conversation. We walk along paths through neighboring woods and along gravel roads formerly traveled by the school bus. It is a very pleasant experience.

      Of course, the type of "walk" presented in the book has to do with patients leaving this earth to go to their heavenly home. The way the stories are presented are much like those walks I experienced with my brothers and sisters, and more recently, with my neighbor friend. The primary service of the hospice worker is one of presence, listening, and comforting the person facing his or her transition. This type of care is, indeed, a sacred labor.

      Again, thank you all for the read and comments. Much appreciated.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      You have given enough information to make me aware of this book and awaken my interest in it.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for this book review, Marie. It sounds like it was what you needed to read at this time and I am sure it would benefit others experiencing or trying to deal with caregiving and bereavement.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This book sounds ver interesting to me and it may be due the fact I was a RN. Regardless, I am going to check it out. Thanks for this review.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a wonderful message and book. Never even thought of this. I think it was just ingrained in us as children. Hmm I never thought of doing it. Of course as timed changed we were tasked to go drive and pick them up and then take them home and walk to the front door. Just never gave it a second thought --- Thank you

    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      4 months ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      I had to publish this because I just tuned into a movie where an elder brother is cursing the younger for not making it to their mother's funeral. If that elder brother only realized the beauty and glory available to everyone.


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