Be Here Then

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

A Biblical verse that might be of comfort in a hospice card

Find a blank card with an image on the front that you find peaceful and comforting.  A ray of sun blazing through a forest; a setting sun over the ocean; sheep in a green pasture; a path through the woods.  You get the idea.

Then write Psalm 23 inside.

Sign it in whatever way is appropriate to your hospice person.  I’m a fan of “thinking of you very much” at least.

Here it is:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for though art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  [even just this line alone is lovely]

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

–Psalm 23, King James version


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…

On the importance of writing the little things

Taking a breather from hospice cards and legacy communications, I found this lovely short article about writing notes on the Good Men Project, and love the idea. Having done similar things myself, often based on little cartoon-like sketches, I can only say this: doing such things cannot guarantee the preservation of a relationship. But it can help.

Sarah, distressed 1
Notice the article says the notes were “written” and remember the emotional power of handwriting:

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…

Poll: Write your own hospice card, or buy one?

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