Anna Biley Dip. N, MSc (Nursing)Anna Biley

Doctorate Caring Science
WCSI CCEP® Faculty
WCSI Caritas Coach®
WCSI Global Associate
WCSI Postdoctoral Scholar

At the age of 20 I had my first encounter with death. Not much more than a child myself I worked in a children’s home and was overwhelmingly out of my depth in dealing with the complex lives of the youngsters in care. I became particularly close to one young man who had learning difficulties. One Christmas, he became ill and was admitted to hospital with peritonitis. He died a month later. During his days in intensive care I took my turn sitting with him, sometimes throughout the night. As I sat, I watched the nurses as they went about their business, administering loving care and kindness to the dying child. It was about 4am one Sunday morning when a nurse came to the bedside. Witnessing her speak as she wiped his face and hands, adjusted his catheter and administered mouth care was one of the most profound experiences of loving kindness I have ever seen and I knew something extraordinary was happening. Without knowing it, I had witnessed a caring moment and decided to become a nurse. In my nursing practice and in my life, that encounter has remained a benchmark, illustrating Nightingale’s stance that the very elements of nursing are all but unknown.

Hearing Jean Watson at a conference, I came home to nursing. She was speaking what was in my heart. My journey with human caring science had begun. Now a graduate of the WCSI Doctoral Programme, I have studied, lived and practiced the principles and values of caritas for over 25 years, through the twists and turns of the imagined and the unexpected. The adventure goes on, caritas to communitas, seeing caring science in the everyday and asking, where may we be of service? My doctoral autoethnographic research study of the experience of remembering purpose is a reminder that, compassion and service, in walking alongside is what I am here to do.

My first book, based on my dissertation, was published by Lotus Library in 2019. Birds Hold our Secrets: a caritas story of grief and remembering is available in the Caring Store.

The Personal Experience of Remembering Purpose from a Caring Science Perspective
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