The Presence Present

The words flow like rivers from both sides of the bed. Words of unspoken feelings and emotions. Sounds that form sentences, which for whatever reason, until this very moment, were held captive. After they have been uttered , eyes will sometimes find their way to me, as if by some way, speaking those words in… Continue reading The Presence Present

Special

It’s always those end of the day visits.. You know the ones where they are unplanned but you have this overwhelming pull to go The ones where it has been a long day already… you could easily just head home to chart, but, at the intersection that would decide the fate, the choice is made… Continue reading Special

Allowed

A few weeks ago, I was seated around the bedside of a mother and grandmother, talking with her children. The patient was dancing between this world and the next, so peacefully and her daughters were just relived that she was finally reaching the end of a years long struggle. It had glorious highs with hopeful… Continue reading Allowed

Favorite

“You can always tell that a job is difficult when you tell fellow nurses you are a hospice nurse and they say “Oh, wow, that has to be so rough!”  Truth be told, this job isn’t easy. It’s not one you take because the hours work with your lifestyle or because you hope to have… Continue reading Favorite

The Shock

Do you ever feel like you aren’t the nurse that others think you are?

Answers

Life is full of questions. Life is full of choices. Life is full of decisions. Life is full of those moments where you feel like you should have the answers, but you just don’t. Having a loved one in hospice or being yourself in hospice is a microcosm of questions and uncertainties. Just like a… Continue reading Answers

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

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