Before my husband was admitted, I knew where Hospice was located and that it was a place where people went to die. I soon became aware of just how vital this service is to our community. I no longer look at it as a place to die but as a place where the gentle transition from this life is made a top priority.
During the time Donnie was being cared for at Hospice my stress levels dropped far enough that my sleep patterns returned to normal and although the demands and expectations of managing a household hadn’t decreased they were able to return to what they were before his cancer treatments. I found that day-to-day decisions were more manageable and I was able to think clearly enough to deal with all of the details that typically surround a death – funeral arrangements, service plans, flowers, remembrances, etc. and to share them with Donnie.
When I arrived each day to be with my husband my energy levels were renewed and I found it easier to focus on just being with him and making the best of the time we had left together.
The health care professionals and volunteers we have at our Hospice are remarkable individuals. The medical, emotional, spiritual and practical support that they offered Donnie and myself was invaluable.
Donnie loved to laugh and share stories; attentive ears, warm smiles and gentle laughter were an ever present part of the caring, supportive people who work and volunteer at Hospice. Donnie wanted to visit with friends and family; staff received them like welcome guests. He loved dogs; Hospice welcomes pets.
Had he stayed at home or had he been taken into the hospital I do not believe that death would have come to him in such a peaceful, non-threatening way and I am certain that he would not have been able to accept this transition in the same manner. I am so grateful to the visionaries who brought this vital place from a dream into a reality.