What would your end of life setting be?

I’ve heard the word hospice on and off for years now.

The very first time I heard it was when my dear “mamita” faced the twists and twirls of Alzheimer many years ago.  I was caught up in my children’s middle years which is synonym to BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.  So it didn’t really mean a thing to me back then.

Many years later, I heard it again as my great grand-uncle faced the end of his life with a debilitated heart mixed up with Parkinson and a bit more.  I still can close my eyes and recall the rattle of his bed the nights I spent over helping my mother in law take care of her elderly father.

Hospice meant things that were needed to take care of the ill.  I kind of never figured out it was a bit more than that.

via morgueFile

Dealing with my father’s in law cancer has been like the birth of a first child.  He is the first of our parents that faces a terminal illness.  We need to do so much for him in so many ways that there is no time for grief, or even emotion.  If we let just a small memory creep into our minds we feel overwhelmed, our chest so tight it literally hurts.  A single memory can trigger a pain so intense it feels like they are hammering a nail straight into your heart.

As I listened to a very kind women talk to me about all the benefits hospice would give not only my father in law, but my mother in law as well I felt strange, a bit bizarre even.  It was as if we were talking about someone else.  She explained rather quickly the part where hospice dealt with terminal patients, making them feel better, she ended up with…

“It’s a hospital at home.”

In other words, no longer can doctors or nurses here do anything else.  Only one thing kept going on in my head, it’s an end of life setting.  The things that are palliative, not only for his body, but also for his soul.  If that’s even possible.

No longer hospice means nothing to me. 

The word itself brings with itself sadness, but at the same time relief.  Will things get better?  I really don’t know, I only want to believe that his or anybody who is in his same condition can embrace any setting they are put into with peace and gratitude for everything they have lived and everyone who they have loved.

A curious thing was that when I asked her, which hospice she represented, the answer was a quiet,

The Faith Hospice.

I chose to believe that even if my faith is weak and torn, if we put all our faith together we can manage through these troubled times and believe he will be able to be as comfortable as they are promising.

And that my dear friends is what believing is all about.