Cynthia Geary, star of the new Pure Flix series “Going Home,” credits her experience on the faith-based show with changing her perspective on death.
A synopsis of “Going Home” describes the series as a compelling drama that “follows an inspiring team of nurses who help guide patients and loved ones on the ultimate journey — one of transition from this world to their forever home.”
“I had no experience with hospice. I am really fortunate, knocking on wood, both of my parents are in their 90s and they’re doing fantastic,” Geary said in a recent interview with The Christian Post. “I read this script the producer sent to me and I thought it was wonderful. It was so well written and I loved the story.”
Geary plays the role of Charlie Copeland. The actress, best known for her role in the TV series “Northern Exposure,” said she really enjoyed the way “Going Home” creator Dan Merchant approached the series, using true stories of those who were in hospice care.
Before filming began, Geary traveled to Washington state where the series was shot and visited Spokane Hospice, the facility the series is based on. There, she met several nurses and got to sit down and talk with them and ask them questions.
“It really opened my eyes,” Geary testified. “The hospice experience is such a gift to the families. The nurses there, it’s a calling and they really see their role as helping people to make a peaceful transition. And they want to make it as calm and beautiful as possible and they want the family members to have closure.”
“It changed my whole outlook on death because it is a part of life and something that all of us are going to experience, and we’re going to experience it over and over again with our loved ones,” she said. “Their attitude about it is — this is an opportunity to really have important meaningful conversations with loved ones. And again, resolve issues and just have these wonderful last moments with your loved one before they go on to the next thing.”
Geary said the main message she gathered from her experience with hospice nurses was that “death isn’t something to be feared.”
From the research she gathered for her role in “Going Home,” the Hollywood star determined that hospice care is a ministry.
“They’re up there with nuns. It is really a calling,” Geary told CP about the nurses in the field. “They’re really adept at gleaning what people need. Some people need closure and they need the nurses [to] get involved and get them talking. Other people just need a peaceful, calm place and someone to handle the work of dealing with someone who is terminally ill and all the things that includes — medication and turning people who are bedridden, and all those kinds of things that are really hard for family members to do 24 hours a day.”
She added, “They provide this service so that the family members can just focus on that special time with their loved one.”
Geary’s character in the series is layered. In one respect, she’s a saint and helps her patients. But on the other hand, she has a difficult personal life that unfolds as the series progresses.
“The nurses are real people. When I met the hospice nurses, they’re funny, they’re irreverent,” she recalled. “I just thought Dan did a great job of capturing the fact that they’re all different, super different personalities, different backgrounds. But when they are with their clients, they have a calling and they’re so present.”
Although it’s a series that features faith themes and prayer, Geary revealed that “Going Home” is not “preachy at all.”
“I love the message that this is a transition to what’s next, and I think different people will glean different things from that, whatever their faith and their belief is,” she added.
Her favorite part of the series is when her character talks to God in a monologue at the end of every episode.
“It’s a conversation with my best friend and we’re just kind of running through what happened in my day,” the mother of two shared. “It’s super casual. It’s not this formal thing, I’m just talking to my friend and I have frustrations, and I’m thankful and grateful. That was one of my favorite parts of my role as Charlie.”
“My parents are in their 90s, so I know that this is something I’m going to face in the near future. But I really see it now as this is something that we know is going to happen and we’re all going to go through it and we’re going to go through it with our loved ones over and over again,” she reiterated.
Geary had a wholesome Christian upbringing and described herself as the “luckiest woman in the world.” This new role is her first significant role after taking a long hiatus from acting to raise her family.
“The importance of family was instilled in me from birth. I’m still really close to all of my family and we now have extended family that spans generations of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and we gather on holidays,” she told CP
Speaking of the series she added: “It’s very encouraging and positive, and especially for the faith audience who know that there’s something after death,” she concluded.
Geary is joined by a great cast of actors in “Going Home” including: Cozi Zuehlsdorff (“Dolphin Tale”) and Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), with guest stars Tom Skerritt (“Picket Fences”) and the NFL’s Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins/Commanders) and more.
Visit Pure Flix to stream this series and many others.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: [email protected] She’s also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic