Caring for a Dying Son

Caring for a Dying Son

July 07 2020
Our children are not supposed to die before we do. I cannot think of any grief more intense than watching our child deteriorate before our eyes. We grieve their dying and eventual death while also grieving what never will be, what they won’t do, won’t experience, what they won’t become. We grieve a future they will never have...

How Do You Grieve a Violent Death?

How Do You Grieve a Violent Death?

June 23 2020
Sudden death by accident, suicide and certainly by violence intensifies those normal grief responses. Everything we feel with normal grief is as if we are being held under a magnifying glass, everything is more intense, hurts more. Part of grieving is questioning how this can happen. Why me? Why her? Why him?...

How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?

How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?

June 11 2020
Our job as an end of life specialist is to address the elephant in the room, to be direct and honest in the gentlest way possible. We are not doing our job, and doing a great disservice to the family, if we don’t talk about Mom’s approaching death, educate, and at least try to prepare the family...

How To Say Goodbye When I'm Not There

How To Say Goodbye When I'm Not There

June 03 2020
People are dying and in a manner we are not used to. We, in America, have become accustomed to having our loved one either at home with family close, or in a nursing facility with some family, or in a hospital, hopefully with family present.

In the next weeks and months some of our loved ones may be dying basically alone...

Bereavement Support is Important at Any Time, Now, it's Vital

Bereavement Support is Important at Any Time, Now, it's Vital

May 19 2020
Hospice Bereavement support, as well as any bereavement support program (church, Community Support, Senior Activity Program) is important during the best of times. Now it is vital.  Here are my recommendations; what I would do if I had a bereavement program today during this pandemic...

What Does Death Look Like?

What Does Death Look Like?

May 19 2020
We bring our fears, our childhood experiences with death, our culture, our belief systems, and our stereotypes to the bedside of the dying and the dead. Generally, none of that is actually how people die...

How To Help Families Care For Their Dying Loved One During Social D...

How To Help Families Care For Their Dying Loved One During Social Distancing

May 08 2020
Hospices seem to be struggling with how to provide services now that being in homes and facilities is not an option. When we cannot rely on routines, when there is no normal anymore, we have to begin thinking of new ways to provide service. We have to start thinking outside the box. We have to create new ways of providing care, new ways of getting education to our families...

Can We Ever Thank You Enough, Front Line Workers?

Can We Ever Thank You Enough, Front Line Workers?

May 05 2020
Our frontline workers: nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, hospital employees, first responders, housekeeping, grocery, delivery, and transportation personnel, all people who are out front while most of us shelter in place, my admiration for you has no bounds...

Front Line Workers, Do You Have Self Care Rituals?

Front Line Workers, Do You Have Self Care Rituals?

April 22 2020
During this time of crisis work it is hard to remember to take care of yourself. There doesn’t seem time for that but if you don’t at least try to put “your own oxygen mask on” you will not get the essentials you need to continue. You are carrying fear for yourself (whether realized or not), excess adrenaline just to meet the shift needs (which brings a sense of exhaustion when the shift is over), and non stop 8, 10, 12 work hours, so sleep for you is vital. Don’t neglect the basics, food, sleep, and a release of each day...

For Those With Heavy Feelings of Loss

For Those With Heavy Feelings of Loss

November 09 2015
How to let go and stop feeling guilty? At first you probably aren't even aware of your feelings. When someone close to us dies, even if we are told it is going to happen, we are in shock, numb. As the numbness wears off  we start feeling guilty...