Working in the medical profession, I always glance at the obituaries. Recently, I had a patient, a sweet lady in her nineties. Her kidneys were failing and she was just barely hanging on while in our facility. The doctor and I had a heart to heart with the family and just laid it on the line; their mother was dieing, plain and simple.
They thought a bit and talked with the patient about what to do next.. and how I imagine most people feel, she wanted to go home to be with her family in the end.
We immediately called Alive Hospice here in town. They were out to the hospital that afternoon to assist the lady home.
Two days later, I saw her name in the obituary. She had the GOOD DEATH she wanted. It was very gratifying to have helped in that way....
Since then, I've had several of the same conversations with patients and their families.. It's so difficult for the families to face, obviously. However, as a medical professional, it's terribly tough to have those discussions over and over again.. even though we are not directly affected by the death, we are apart of that dieing experience with them.. It's gut wrenching in the most beautiful way. My work and life is more meaningful for having the experience.