Hospice Doesn’t Kill You

In my years in hospice I have heard the occasional snide comments, directly or indirectly, when family or friends have been dissatisfied with hospice services. I can understand the complaint of not liking a nurse or aide, or doctor’s personality and asking for a switch in caregivers. If I were dealing with the dying care…

Changing Definitions

Definitions have a way of changing as you get older, ever notice? For instance, remember back in your 20’s when you thought being in your 40’s seemed old? Then you reached your mid 30’s and 40 didn’t seem old at all, am I right? So when my kids slip and tell me of some encounter…

Sometimes the Only Way Out is Through

As in hurricanes, as in life, sometimes the only way out is through… This week hurricane Irma came racing through the state of Florida. Even at her less than predicted pace, she made herself known. Advanced preparations had us thinking ahead – plan for this, plan for that. Days and days of planning, yet the…

What Happens After Death?

What happens after death?   Many people wonder. What are the procedures? What should I expect? Perhaps knowing a bit about what may lie ahead may provide some comfort and take away some of the fear that is often associated with the unknown. When I arrive at someone’s home as a continuous care nurse, I…

A Simpler Bucket List for End of Life

Remember that movie a few years back called The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? It sparked a lot of people’s imaginations and motivated them to get out there and do the things in life they had only dreamed about before it was too late. Most people probably made lists containing some far…

Grief Quotes, Because Finding The Right Words Can Be Hard

Death is the heartache no one can heal,
 memories are keepsakes no one can steal.
 Beautiful memories are all we have left, of the ones we loved and will never forget.
 Softly the leaves of memory fall,
 gently we gather and cherish them all.
 Planted deep in memory’s garden 
and watered daily with tears,
 memory…

10 Things I Wish My Patients Knew Before I Met Them

I specialize in end of life care. I am a hospice nurse. Everyone knows that no one will live forever. For those of you who are more familiar with the concept of dying because you, or someone you know has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, I offer the following 10 things I wish your…

Stop! Is This a Last Time Moment?

Last times. As a hospice nurse, I think about these moments, sometimes you see them coming, and sometimes you don’t. I went to a continuous care case one evening in an elderly couple’s condo. I spent the night in the bedroom with my patient who looked like a tiny little doll in a big oversized…

10 Things I Hate About Being a Hospice Nurse

I’ve been a hospice nurse for over fifteen years, and I have cared for patients in a variety of settings. Although I started out on a completely different path those many years ago after college, personal circumstances later in life pointed me in the direction of hospice. So grateful that it did, as I can…

The Day I Met Poverty

In 1998 I was a newly certified hospice volunteer. My third assignment had me pulling into a dirt driveway off a well traveled road only forty minutes from my home. As I parked my car I tried to look for the house number to confirm that this was indeed the right place as this was…