Be Here Then

why and how to write & create an ethical will, hospice card, or other legacy

Archive for the category “Hospice care and hospice cards”

An oncologist, a patient, a hospice, and a goodbye

This post is not about ethical wills but it is very much about saying what needs to be said.  I just now came across this blog post written by oncologist Don S. Dizon, MD, about saying goodbye to patients, especially those going into hospice care.  I think this doc has guts and a strong heart.

It has been quite a while since I have read something so concise, yet so moving.  I offer it in the hopes that it will move some of you to think about what needs saying by you, but have not yet quite managed it.

My own experience of illness, loss, and the kindnesses of others has prompted me to say now the things I previously stored away in my heart – sharing gratitude in the moment is important.  We never know when an opportunity is the last one we will be given.

And regret, especially for kindnesses not offered, gratitude not expressed, is a corrosive burden.  Lighten up.  And thanks to Dr. Dizon for his example.


Here’s a lovely card for someone in hospice care, and about “hope”

Here is a card appropriate for someone in hospice care, IF you pay attention to the word “hope,” that might appeal to those who love floral images.  You, too, might enjoy Brent Davis’s other work.

The text on the front of the card mentions “hope” and “love” and when you are sending a card to someone in hospice care, it is good to remember that hospice care ideally is for those who are no longer trying every last possible way to stay alive — rather, they are trying to LIVE as well as possible the time left to them.

So “hope” could be misconstrued here as wishing them hope for cure, or remission, or something other than what hospice care is.  I might send this card to someone I knew who loved flowers, and inside — depending on the relationship, of course — I would write something about that hope.

Some possibilities:

With all our love, and with the hope of reconnecting on the other side.

With love for you, and love and hope for your family, whom we will support with all our hearts.

I hope you know how much you mean to me, and I love you now and always will.

You and I have shared our hopes and love for many years, and that has been a beautiful part of my life.  You are cherished, and always will be.

You have been the very definition of friendship.  Just as I hope those you love who have gone before you will be waiting to greet you, I hope you will be there to greet me when it is my turn to follow.  See you down the road, my friend.  With all my love . . .

You get the idea.  Check out the photograph, and maybe you will find something on that site you like even more, for a hospice card.

Hospice cards – a link to someone else’s site to buy them

I do not know this person but the artwork on the cards and the sentiments already printed inside them might appeal to some of you, so in case you have not already found this resource:

In the meantime, I am still working on a few more free ideas to post here for you.

Another resource for people who are wanting to organize their lives and tie up loose ends is the book In the Checklist of Life and I do very much recommend it.  You can read my description of  it here but the actual book you can find here:

Anyone familiar with the old James Taylor song “Shower the People”?  Tell them the way you feel…

Coming soon, an easy hospice card image for co-workers to send

I am having some very interesting conversations with people about this topic of hospice, hospice cards, and general end-of-life issues.  (Again, I suggest people check out Regina Holliday’s blog and work on behalf of patients.)  Personally, I find it making me much more aware of my own mortality — I am in prime heart attack territory — and it is moving me to start taking care of that business, like who is going to shut down my electronic accounts when I die…

But moving on —

Emerging from the latest conversations is another idea for a card co-workers can easily make and send to a colleague — BUT it is going to take getting several volunteers all together in the same place at the same time.

world-mapAND I was warned I’d be in trouble if we did the shoot without a particular woman on her way back from a country far, far away — so we are waiting until next week to include her!

Some feedback I am receiving suggests that colleagues of a person in hospice care would like different choices of card types to send. Read more…

Here’s another source of blank cards for your hospice card photo

I haven’t used this company’s website but Strathmore products are always good.  Pricing is on the page.

And if you would like some ideas on how to use a photograph, read this, even if it is about ethical wills and not specifically about hospice cards.

I grew up being told “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”   Read more…

Your own photographs for hospice cards

It amazes me sometimes that people are worried a photograph they took themselves would not be “good enough” to use on a hospice card for a friend.

If you have a snapshot of you and your friend, especially with others of a group you both enjoy, get it printed out at your local CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reed, wherever, if you do not have the ability to print out a photo-quality product on your home printer.

Get a small box of those blank cards at an art supply store, stationers, or hobby shop   Read more…

Hospice card image and sentiment ready to go.

RECIPIENT:  A friend, although not necessarily of the closest circle; their religious beliefs not strictly one thing or another

CARD:  commercially made/printed blank inside

IMAGE:  one of many photographs of a wind-twisted tree along a cliff, ocean in the background.


We have been through a lot together, you and I.

Fair days and storms, we’ve weathered them together.

What comes next I cannot do with you.

But if love, faith and the bonds of friendship transcend this world,

then mine go with you.  I hope they can be companionship now

in these difficult days. And a comfort

as you go first where we all will follow.

Bhagavad Gita and words for hospice cards

There are many sources of inspiration and guidance for our spiritual, moral, and emotional lives, and ethical wills and other legacy letters frequently draw on those sources for their content. We can draw on those sources as well for a hospice card or note we want to send to someone we care for who is in hospice care.

“Arjuna, I am the taste of pure water and

the radiance of the sun and moon.  I am

the sacred word and the sound heard in air and

the courage of human beings. I am Read more…

Easiest “card” to send to someone in hospice care

Continuing on with the theme of hospice cards, an old interest of mine resurrected by the current patient advocacy of Regina Holliday, here is a simple way to let someone you know in hospice care that you are thinking of them.

For this idea, here’s what you need:

1. A computer with a camera attached (either built-in or plugged-in accessory)*[*you should know your software/camera capabilities: some snapshots will show the writing reversed, some won’t, so do a test first if you don’t know!]

2. An internet connection

3. A piece of paper, say about 8.5 x 11″ big. Your choice plain or fancified…

4. A pen, pencil, Sharpie, crayon — you want a thick line so the words are easily legible. Read more…

More examples for your own hospice card ideas

As promised in the first post on the hospice card theme on the 24th, here are a few more ideas of what I might like to hear from among my very varied friends (and consider writing your own legacy letter or ethical will, as well.)

orangeflowerBHT“My dear friend! It wasn’t supposed to be like this, was it? Never in a million years did we think we wouldn’t get to be old folks together, rocking out and scandalizing the neighborhood! Now who will I be misbehaving with? I love you! You have always, always made me laugh, and I am so very grateful for you in my life. I’m sending you a huge hug and here’s a picture of our first bloom of that flower you love so much.” Read more…

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