A.D.

It’s my job, as a hospice nurse, to be the navigator on a journey that most all hate to travel. Just as any exploratory voyage, and it is exploratory because each person’s journey is unique, there are moments of calm… moments of silence… moments of laughter… moments of regret… moments of sadness. In my mind’s… Continue reading A.D.

Knocking On The Door

“Helen, does she know I am here? Can she hear me?” Questions like this abound when a loved one is close to crossing the vast divide. Tasking me, a simple hospice nurse with providing the answer to such a profound question, is something that always shakes me to my core. You see, the truth is,… Continue reading Knocking On The Door

The Slow Burn

If I had a dollar for a every time someone said something along the lines of “I don’t know how you can do what you do”, I would have a serious pile of cash. Seriously, the truth is some days, I don’t know how I do what I do. It is physically, mentally and emotionally… Continue reading The Slow Burn

Disappear

“I just don’t understand why! It’s like I have been abandoned. Like me dying has made all the people who said they loved me turn their backs on me. I am not a leper. I am still here” Heartbreakingly true words that are more commonly spoken by hospice patients than anyone realizes. A patient and… Continue reading Disappear

The Whispers

I’ve gotten kind of used to it. Sometimes, when I enter a patient’s room, I notice some family members turn and whisper. It’s almost like when I tell people what I am lucky enough to do and they give me the heartbreaking face while lowering their voice to a whisper. Maybe it is because of… Continue reading The Whispers

All The Time

Leave it at the door Don’t bring your work home with you That might work for a garbage man or maybe a tree cutter, but those rules don’t apply to a hospice nurse. I am probably thinking about you from the moment I shut your door behind me. I am probably still thinking of you… Continue reading All The Time

Thank You

It’s a little chilly in your bathroom, but, you are sweating and have the fan strategically blowing in your face. Your color is pale, almost like a pre tanned vacation photo except you have look that alerts others you aren’t well. Eyes are sunken, the brightness that once was there is no more. The dark… Continue reading Thank You

When Did You Go?

Where you there when you could no longer speak?  Was your soul still present?  Could you hear us all around your bed.. talking with you… sometimes happy.. sometimes sad? When was the moment that you let go? A lot of times, when people are passing, they fall into states where they are no longer responsive. … Continue reading When Did You Go?

Boundaries

They tell us to create boundaries in order to protect ourselves.  Try to limit how much of yourself you give.  When a nurse works in a hospital, it’s a little easier to do this.  You see your patients for a shift or two and then it’s on to the next crew.  But, when you see… Continue reading Boundaries