January 22 2020
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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HOSPICE DEATH CALL~ How To Comfort A Family You've Never Met

HOSPICE DEATH CALL~ How To Comfort A Family You've Never Met


Krista Manuel - February 02 2020

Thank you so much for your words and guidance Barbara. I have been following you for years and always feel grounded and fuller after reading some of your works. As a hospice volunteer, end of life doula and now funeral director this passage is especially connecting for me. I would love to see my colleagues begin their home visits this way. We are all connected and being present at and after a death gives such opportunity for bonding and lasting memories.

Kathy Cummings - January 24 2020

Barbara, thank you so much for sharing this. I was a hospice nurse for 8 years and provided your book, Gone From My Sight so many times. I want to order you book. We have so many hospice experiences to share. I was recently laid off as an LNC and will be training to become an end of life doula next month. I plan to return to this work. I often say “we teach them to die, they teach us to live.” Thank you for your guidance and for all you do. I am looking forward to reading more of your work. I did/do a lot of the things you described but learned a lot too! Kathy

Debbie Johnson - January 24 2020

Barbara,Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.You know my mama passed away almost 8 years ago, Today as I was reading your post that I realized our hospice (Dierkson) has done these things for us.Mama was only sick for 6 months and we were blessed with everyone doing things we didn’t even realize needed to be done.Forever grateful Rita (my mom).
and all 6 of her daughters.Debbie

Joni - January 24 2020

Oh, Barbara, even the most important tasks seem doable with your guidance. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and guidance.

Barbara - January 23 2020

Hi Claudia, Thank you for sharing the beautiful experience you had following your mother’s death. I know it was hard to do but so lovingly done. The nursing facility didn’t know their lack was actually an opportunity that you turned into a gift, one you will treasure forever. Blessings! Barbara

Carl - January 23 2020

I believe that this approach with the family actually buffers, takes some of the sharp edges off of their pain in this sudden shock of their loved one’s death…
It’s like we actually absorb some of their anguish… It’s comforting and caring with compassion… Which is, after all, what we do!

Patricia Belknap - January 23 2020

I enjoyed reading about your book, Hospice Death Call. I have some of your books from when you gave a lecture in Fargo, ND a few years ago. I loved listening to you then and wish you would come back again and speak to us again.
Much love to you.

Patricia Belknap

Claudia Herrera - January 23 2020

Thank you Barbara for this. I am not a nurse but when my mum died in July 2018 while she was being cared for at nursing facility – with the plan to get her back home as soon as she could regain strength. We were basically kicked out and pressured to call funeral home. Our mother had just passed away and I had to scramble to get my mother cleaned up as the paramedics had just left from trying to resuscitate her [even though she had a DNR – my sister let them do this against mum’s wishes] When I arrived i said to paramedics – STOP! She has a DNR. She was already gone so why do this to her?
Anyway – we were rushed and I had brothers and sisters wanting to come say goodbye – luckily some were able to make it as I made funeral home wait. I ended up drawing curtains and got to work – i knew we had siblings coming and a few cousins came as well. I asked for clean towels and hot water. I gave mom a loving sponge bath – i cleaned her hair and brushed it. I put lotion on her hands and feet. And made sure the sheets were clean and her blankie was lovingly draped over her. Unfortunately her mouth was open and I could not close it – so we placed a surgical mask over her mouth – i had no idea what to do and nursing facility was not there for support – my heart was broken that all they wanted was her OUT! I am crying as I write this. I only had a mere few minutes on my own with mom – I kissed her feet and thnaks her being a perfect mom. Once we were ready to release her body to funeral home – we left the room and my family said I should not be there when they transfer her body into a bag. So I was not. I have comfort in knowing I was able to at least do that last thing for my mom. She was so beautiful and so lovely and in a funny way vain. Which is what we all loved about her – she had the purest heart and her smile would light up your heart. I miss her dearly. Thank you for this.

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