The gift of hospice
by Terre Mirsch
As the holiday season comes to a close and we find ourselves packing up the decorations and finding places for the gifts we received, this is also an important time for reflection on the less tangible gifts life offers- the gift of family and friends, and the gift of our life’s interests: things that we hold dear to our heart and define who we are. We think of our hobbies, our jobs, the events we attend, the books we read, the music we listen to, the walks on the beach, the hikes up the mountain, or the quiet afternoons on our back porch–all things that bring meaning and purpose to our lives.
Some are also grateful for the gift of wellness while many reflect, with thanks, that they have managed another year without crisis in the face of chronic illness. Still others found that 2011 brought the sad news that they or a loved one are faced with a serious, life threatening illness for which is there is no cure. Unfortunately, despite medical advances, there are many illnesses that progress despite what medical science has to offer or for which there is no viable medical treatment available. Too often, people are told “There is nothing more we can do” when, in fact, there is much more that can be done.
There is much more that can be done to ensure comfort and life quality. There is much more that can be done to restore hope while focusing our remaining time and energy on the things that matter most–family, friends, and meaningful connections. There is much more that can be done to ensure that every moment of every day counts.
It is common that I receive letters of gratitude from family members, following the loss of a loved one, explaining the difference that Hospice made for them. Less commonly, I receive letters from those currently receiving care. One family member reflected on the meaning of hospice for her family. She wrote, “You’ve given us another Christmas, New Years, birthday, Easter, visits, and lunches out. To our family, hospice means quality time to live and love. We thank the Hospice team for your care, kindness, and support. Every day is a blessing thanks to all you do.”
That is the gift of Hospice.