Category Archives: family of the dying

HELLIDAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

“Did you survive the holidays?” I was asked at work, and was immediately struck by the absurdity of the question. I’m not the hospice patient, after all, and I was expected to survive the month of festivities. But I was … Continue reading

Posted in family of the dying | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DYING WITH YOUR BOOTS ON

Something I love about my job as a hospice nurse: there are many opportunities to be surprised.  One of my daily mantras is “expect the unexpected”.  As I drove down a switch-back gravel drive in the middle of nowhere, I … Continue reading

Posted in family of the dying, living | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A FAIRY TALE?

Once upon a time there was a man who lived with his two daughters in a lonely clearing in the woods.  They had moved in and cared for many of the things that their mother had always done, after she died and … Continue reading

Posted in family of the dying, hospice story, telling stories | Tagged , | Leave a comment

GIFTS OF LOVE

Before setting out on my lengthy road trip to an outlying area of the county, I had received the warning that the spouse was a“curmudgeon”.  He had been overly harsh and grumpy with the staff that only yesterday had him signing forms … Continue reading

Posted in family of the dying, hospice story | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MOTHER’S DAY

“What they never tell you about grief is that missing someone is the simplest part.”       From Let’s take the long way home by Gail Caldwell My beautiful cousin, having nearly reached the hallmark of five years since the death of … Continue reading

Posted in bereavement, family of the dying, grief, loss | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ANOTHER DAY TO LISTEN

I re-read something I had written years ago, after the death of my mother.  It was titled, “Not just the daughter”, and I remembered the first-hand experience I had, as a family member, of hospice persons presenting themselves as the expert, and myself … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, family of the dying, hospice story | Tagged , | Leave a comment

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

We marveled that he was still breathing, this shell of a person who had been dying for so, so long. His wife had told him-days ago- it was time to go, she loved him and would miss him, but she would be … Continue reading

Posted in death bed vigil, end of life care, family of the dying, hospice story | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

“He’s not usually like this.  He usually is totally in control and has a lot to say.”  Jeff, hearing this comment, opens his eyes briefly to glare at his sister, but with good humor.  He tries to start and finish some thoughts but is … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, family of the dying | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE”

“If I should die before I wake….” A child’s prayer my little sister and I sometimes spoke together at bedtime, not totally aware of what we were saying, I think, or we would have kept our eyes open and not slept a … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, family of the dying, hospice story | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

TAKEN BY SURPRISE

“Dying is a lot like birthing, even though you expect it; you are still taken by surprise.” I returned from a brief vacation, and as is the case with hospice nurses everywhere I suspect, I looked at my work emails very late … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, family of the dying, hospice story | Tagged , , | Leave a comment