Someone reminded me of a note I wrote a number of years ago, working for a hospice agency that was struggling with staying true to the ideal of hospice in the midst of growth and financial burden and government regulation. It is still why I do hospice work.
What we work for:
- We work for the patient that we know can be cared for expertly because we have learned the art of end of life care.
- We work for the satisfaction of knowing we did a job truly well.
- We work for the words spoken by the family member after the long ordeal is over, “I couldn’t have done this without you”.
- We work for the ideology of Hospice care and the belief that death truly can come gently in the midst of the painful suffering that we witness, being present at the bedside of the dying.
- We work for the sad and gladdened, lonely and accompanied, rejected and accepted, pained and pain free, distraught and peaceful, embittered and thankful, uncared and cared for, loved and unloved, who both learn from us and teach us life’s true lessons.
- We work for each other, realizing that we know what it is to accompany a family down the long road of disability and dying.