Archive for Emotions – Page 2

A Few Awkward Precious Moments

A brother stormed out of a hastily organized family conference because, “No one cares what I think.”

A brother stormed out of a hastily organized family conference because, “No one cares what I think.”

Hospice is comfort care.

(Those who know anything about hospice will agree with that sentence.)

At the hospice where I work, the mission statement is . . . to uphold the dignity and ease the suffering of the terminally ill while supporting their loved ones, and those who are grieving.

(Other hospices have a similar mission statement.)

What do you want at the end of your life?

Do you desire care focused on “comfort?” Do you hope to be treated with dignity and have your suffering eased? Would you want loved ones “supported” during the time of your dying and after your death?

Your dying.

Your death.

What do you want? Read More →

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I Don’t Need Any Help

Im-FineAccording to the social worker’s earliest notes on the medical chart, the patient’s son didn’t want follow-up for bereavement after his father’s death.

The nurse who’d cared for his father echoed those sentiments when the family was discussed in the hospice team meeting. Since the patient—the father—had been in our hospice’s care for several months, there had been multiple visits by the social worker, nurse, and chaplain. All agreed the son had said (before and at the time of death) he was doing fine. Additionally, the son’s cousin—who was more like a trusted friend since childhood—was one of our hospice nurses.

This cousin affirmed what others concluded: the son had shared he didn’t need additional bereavement support after his father’s death. He. Was. Fine. But the cousin also said to me, and to the social worker who’d write the official chart notes, that the son should be called anyway.

“Give him a call,” the cousin/nurse said. Read More →

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Beware the 5 Stages

Dr. Kubler-Ross with Mother Theresa.

Dr. Kubler-Ross with Mother Theresa.

Not long after Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ “On Death and Dying” (1969) was published, her five stages of dying entered the popular consciousness. Those same stages were eventually used to explain the path of grief.

We love lists. Comedian David Letterman did his popular Top Tens right up to his retirement show. If you follow sports, you know the importance of rankings. What team is #1? Is your team in the Top 25? We rate cardiac surgeons and pizza joints. The Internet is filled with lists: 9 steps to financial freedom or 7 ways to grow a new head of hair.

So, my reading friends, what are Kubler-Ross’ five stages? No Googling allowed! No stealing glances at your bookshelf. No asking a spouse, child, colleague, or passing stranger for help. And once you have what you think is the correct five, please put them in order. Don’t look to the next paragraph until you’ve completed the tasks! Read More →

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