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Tag Archives: care

Death: Scared or Sacred?

Death: Scared or Sacred?

The call came at 10:15 on a Sunday morning. It was Lana, the hospice nurse, calling to let me know that 70-year-old Bessie was actively dying in our in-patient hospice care facility. “She has no family,” Lana said to me. “We’re starting a Volunteer Vigil for her. Can you come sit with her for a… Continue Reading

“Do you hear me?”

“Do you hear me?”

“We’ve said our goodbyes to each other,” Janet choked the words out. I turned to look at her 59-year-old husband Ted who was deeply sedated, but more at peace than he’d been a couple of days ago. Ted was in our hospice facility, dying from intestinal cancer. Janet and I were sitting in their room, a box of… Continue Reading

Anticipatory Grief: Waiting for Death

Anticipatory Grief: Waiting for Death

When you know a loved one’s death is approaching, you experience anticipatory grief. In other words, death hasn’t occurred yet, but it is coming. Anticipatory grief can be easy or hard, depending on the kind of person you are. Some people like the time to prepare, to say goodbye, to take care of unfinished business.… Continue Reading

What the dying need from us

What the dying need from us

Over the weeks and months following the grim diagnosis of terminal illness or a debilitating injury, your loved one experiences many losses. Once a healthy, functional, productive individual they begin to suffer a severe loss of identity. The valued role they played is soon a thing of the past. How do you, as family, or primary caregiver,… Continue Reading

What to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving

What to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving

Given that our toolkit is sadly empty when it comes to consoling, comforting and caring for the grieving, some grief education helps. When we understand that we can make a huge difference in the life of a grieving friend, family member or neighbor, we’re motivated to make the effort to equip ourselves so we’re never at a loss for… Continue Reading