Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hospice Musings

I think I am getting more wise just by working at hospice.  Ok, that may not be true but I do think it helps to build a more realistic perception of life.  The truth is, we are all terminal.  That shouldn't be bad news, though. 

I think of our lives as being on a timeline.  On the left end of the timeline is a little teeny dot that represents our lives from conception to death.  To the right of that dot, as far as you can see, is our life in eternity.  That means that the time we are separated from our loved ones is such a tiny speck, it is almost no time at all.

For the patients who are not believers of eternal life, I understand how death could be a frightening prospect.  For Christians, though, it should be thought of as a a time when we get to open the best present ever.  We're human, though, and the unknown can be scary.  I understand that. 

I've already received a lot of comments from people who are very curious about how I can work daily with people who are dying.  I will tell you that it is an honor and a pleasure to do this work!  I feel very grateful for this opportunity and wish everyone had this chance. 

Working with the patients is not the hardest part of the job.  The part that is hard is working with the families.  They are the ones for whom I have the most sympathy.  Their pain is what I don't know how to treat.  Their tears are the hardest to see.

I try to remember to wear a cross to work every shift.  The reason I do this is so that the person who is dying, or their family and friends, will know that I am a Christian.  If they want to talk about Jesus, I want them to know that I will make time to listen.   Perhaps that is the most important part of my job...listening.

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