Does Our Personality Change As We Approach Death?

Does Our Personality Change As We Approach Death?

August 07 2020
First, what is meant by “dying person”? In the months before death most people really don’t believe they are dying. “Other people die, not me. There will be a cure, a mistake, or a miracle”.  They also begin withdrawing, showing less interest in the outside world and become more introspective. That introspection is not always peaceful or even positive. Thoughts and behavior will relate to how much fear is present. We are all going to be afraid as we approach death.

The Silent Scream, Grimaces, and Scary Faces As We Die... Why?

The Silent Scream, Grimaces, and Scary Faces As We Die... Why?

July 22 2020
There is a labor to dying. It is hard work for us to get out of our body (some harder than others). Think of the little chick that works, struggles to get out of its shell. As we, humans, are dying we are working, struggling also to get out  of our bodies. We, the watchers, see the hard work and don't know how to interpret it...

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...

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...

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...

In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

April 08 2020
People don’t die like they do in the movies—alive one minute, saying something profound and dead the next. There is a way that the body dies. A way it is programed to die. It’s just that most of us don’t think about it, don’t know and generally don’t want to think or know about it. This is part of the death denying society that we live in...

Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone

Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone

April 03 2020
I see families devastated by not being able to be with their loved one as they are dying. I am writing this for any person who is faced with a loved one dying alone in the hospital. My hope is that some understanding hence comfort can be found among these words. This guidance can also be used by healthcare workers when they face the difficult job of telling families they can’t be present. These ideas can’t fix this horrific situation but they can bring a bit of understanding and “something to do” to an otherwise bleak message.

Did the AIDS Epidemic Set Us Up To Handle COVID-19?

Did the AIDS Epidemic Set Us Up To Handle COVID-19?

March 23 2020

There are many of the same circumstances with today’s coronavirus as we faced with  HIV/AIDS in the early years— lack of medical knowledge, lack of guidance, and fear. I think the same directives hold now as they did then...

Be Aware of the Risk We Present to Those We Are Hired to Care For

Be Aware of the Risk We Present to Those We Are Hired to Care For

March 19 2020
Touch in with the families, “What’s happening? Do you need anything?” Use the same volunteer for each family to develop confidence and bonding. You are saving your staff while providing a sense of security  to your families...

We've Just Begun Social Distancing~ Here Are My Thoughts

We've Just Begun Social Distancing~ Here Are My Thoughts

March 15 2020
Isolation from others is teaching me this about my self ——- I do a lot for others, for their thoughts of me, why else do I wear makeup? Get dressed? Bathe...

Ideas For A New Hospice Nurse

Ideas For A New Hospice Nurse

April 12 2015
If you teach your families well about the approaching end of life there will be no problems with them understanding the labor of dying. Having someone you care about dying is very sad but it doesn’t have to be a bad experience. It is our job to see that their experience is a sacred one...