Archive for Hospice – Page 2

My Hospice Holiday Wishes

In the final days of this month, and during this season of so many holidays for many religions and cultures, I wanted to use my “magic wand” to give an ideal gift to others.

Oh, how I wish I could wield a wand so powerful . . .

Below are the honest words and hopeful actions that I would offer for those involved with hospice.

And we are all part of hospice. About 2,600,000 people annually die in the United States. Using statistics only on those served by Medicare in 2015, there were over 1,300,000 people enrolled in hospice care. While those simplistic and rounded-off “facts” represent different sources, I’m confident that about half of the annual deaths in the United States involve hospice. The odds are extraordinarily high that everyone, at some point in their life, will either be helped by hospice or have a friend or family member in hospice care.

Some of my wishes are simple. Some are overly optimistic. Some are more practical and obvious than wearing warm clothes on a cold day.

I limited myself to 3 wishes for each “person.”

Please, tell me what your wish might be! (I’d love to hear from you.)

Even more important, when thinking about your “wishes” for life and death, for living and dying, for you and your loved ones, for today and whatever tomorrow might bring . . . tell your wishes to the people most important to you. Read More →

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The Guy in the Sweater Who Loved Me

During this delightful season of holy days and holidays, how can we best remember those we loved the most?

Or would we, while stumbling through this exhausting, frazzled season of empty chairs and hollow celebrations, prefer to find a way to forget—ignore, erase, mute, move past—those we loved (hated) the most . . . and miss (don’t miss) the most?

Fill in the blank for you: holidays are the most __________ time of the year.

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That’s me in the photo above. On the left. (Oh, you guessed that?)

My hair is gray now. Read More →

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The Third Gift of Christmas

stained glassChristmas is a difficult season for someone whose doctor has announced, “I think you should consider hospice.”

Silent night, holy night!

All is calm, all is bright.

Christmas is a difficult season when caring for a dying loved one . . . or being the one cared for.

Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

Holy infant so tender and mild,

Christmas is a difficult season if it’s the first holidays without a beloved child or spouse or parent.

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

In my neighborhood, lights twinkle along the darkening streets. Santas and snowmen and manger scenes sprawl across lawns. Families gather around tables. Colleagues join for parties at work. Children tremble with excitement and parents weary of telling the kids to be good. In cathedral’s large and sanctuary’s small, millions will meet on Christmas Eve, singing the familiar carols.

But your world is crushed. Read More →

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