Eight years ago, I lost my Dad to cancer. Cancer itself is jsut a horrible horrible disease.......and the many trips to DUKE Hospital, and exploritory procedures can really take it's toll on a family. When Dad reached the point that he was tired, and he was done fighting, we as a family all agreed, it was HIS decision.
We called HOSPICE, they looked at his medical records, they met with him, they met with US, the family.......what I found with HOSPICE, is that we the FAMILY, were as much a part of thier "patients" and "treatment" as my Dad was. They needed full involvement from US, to allow Dad's finals weeks to be wonderful. They helped where needed, and came up missing, when we needed to be alone. Hospice allowed my entire family to move home, for two weeks.........Mom could still go out and get her own groceries, because she needed the "alone time".........Randy and Dad could talk about hunting, Sandy did most of the cooking.....and we were all together.....we laughed - alot!
HOSPICE gave us signs, things to look for, they worked with my son on how to recognize the final moments........and because of them, the entire family was together for prayer, and love when he took his last breath. That's when I figured we had utilized them to the max, and they had done a beautiful job........We thanked them for thier service, and turned to eachother for support.
Little did I know that over the next couple weeks, months, and even a year.....HOSPICE would continue to reach out to myself, and my Mom. to our family......they offered gathereings, like the tree lighting, where we share our loss with others, they offered counseling, they offered kids camp, to make sure the kids were coping in a healthy manner, they were the most amazing organization I had ever met.
I will forever be indebted to HOSPICE - not just for caring for my Dad, but for allowing us the time, space and knowledge to care for him ourselves, and for supporting my entire family through a time that we were lost.