I answered the phone.
The caller explained he wanted information for grief support groups. A friend had recommended the hospice where I work and its bereavement program.
I asked him about his loss.
“My father,” he quickly replied.
“I am so sorry,” I said. “Was he one of our patients?”
I reviewed the basics about the group, encouraging him to ask questions as we went along. I shared the start date and time, the number of sessions, and the costs. At our hospice, there is no charge for attending groups (along with other resources) if the patient was served by us. But this man was “from the community,” and would need to pay a modest fee. I also mentioned we had scholarships.
He asked no questions.
“When did your father die?”
A long pause. I could hear the copy machine whirring across the hall from my office. A bird fluttered by my window.
“He’s still alive, but he’s dead.”
His words now staggered out, like residents escaping a burning apartment building. Gasps and a snuffling of tears sometimes interrupted his explanation. In between weeping, in between him saying “Sorry, sorry,” I learned more. Read More →by