Just as we plan for any journey we take, making preparations for life’s final journey gives us the opportunity to create special memories and share the precious time that remains with those we love. Patients in hospice care may feel a sense of urgency about planning for events that they know they will miss.
One young mother in hospice bought her daughter’s Sweet 16 jewelry. She knew that she would not be there to celebrate with her daughter in two years’ time, but wanted her daughter to know her mother loved her and remembered that significant event.
Other patients have left presents for holidays or special messages for their loved ones. Writing letters to those they hold dear, to express affection, offer advice, or just share thoughts about their time together, is another way to be present with their loved ones at important times after patients have passed on. Creating a video or audio recording to be shared in the future may answer this need as well.
The interdisciplinary team at Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT has members experienced in listening to patients and helping them carry out their final wishes. Team members such as a chaplain, social worker or a trained volunteer are available to patients and are willing to help.
As Jean Anouilh wrote, “Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.” Regional Hospice and Home Care helps hospice patients make this final gift possible.