Be Here Then

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

Archive for the tag “hospice”

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.

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…

An ethical will example: short, to-the-point, but done!

SAMPLE ETHICAL WILL #1:

Dear Margaret, Laura, and Mitchell:

My time is running out so I want to say a few things to you.  I want you three children to know I love you very much.  If I have not always shown it very well I am sorry.  I hope you find it in your hearts to forgive me.  Mother is not a job you are born knowing.  You have to figure it out as you go along.  As you know my parents died when I was very young so I did not get a lot of words of wisdom.  This is what I have learned so far in a nutshell.  I hope it helps you.

1.    Kids need help every day to learn and remember new things.

2.   Mothers need patience.  Every day and lots of it.  You will not always have it but try. Read more…

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