While a main focus of Be Here Then has been ethical wills, it also concerns itself with end of life issues. This includes hospice, that service of helping patients live as fully and as well as they are able when cure is no longer an option, or is no longer sought. When someone is knowingly facing their ending days, it becomes difficult for many of us to know what to say, or to do. Frankly, it scares a lot of us.
We have few, if any, models for how to relate. Regina Holliday has become another patient care advocate, and started a petition to ask Hallmark to start a line of hospice cards. I have signed her petition, and I encourage you to visit her blog and read her story. But that’s not all —
I confess a wee part of me is a bit dismayed, because one of my plans was to introduce exactly that: a line of “greeting” cards that might be usable for friends in hospice care. Of course, as John Lennon sang, life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans, and the cards idea had to be back-burnered.
But we don’t have to wait for a greeting card company to help make this conversation. Why don’t we start, ourselves — by imagining what kinds of things we might want to have written in a card to us, as a way to help figure out what to say to someone we love who is now in hospice care.
What follows are a few examples of what I’d love to read from a few of my friends, and one example of what I would write to one of mine. Read more…