Consider Hospice/Palliative Care

When I reflect on the stories of death supported by hospice care and contrast it with our story depicting an absence of support, I find myself dealing with envy and anger. Lisa J. Shultz, author of A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflection on Losing a Parent

November is National Hospice/Palliative Care Month. A daughter I interviewed for my book was so positively impacted by the hospice care her young mother received that, as an adult, she became a lifelong hospice volunteer and the National Hospice Volunteer of the Year. Hospice and palliative care frequently make a profound, positive difference in the lives of families and patients. 

What’s the difference? Hospice care is for terminally ill patients when treatment is no longer curative during the last six months of life. Palliative care can be employed while the patient is continuing active treatment through different phases of their life-limiting condition. Both provide comfort. 

Affirmation: I’m grateful for the volunteers and professionals who provide hospice and palliative care.

Coaching request: If you are a patient or family member dealing with a life-threatening condition, consider hospice or palliative care now or in the future. It can make a world of difference.

Look For The Helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers’s mother knew that if her son recognized the helpers he would feel calmer about the tragedy, knowing that someone was there to take control and put order to the chaos. Who has helped you in times of tragedy or need? Perhaps it was a teacher or a pastor, a grandmother or a neighbor, a friend or sibling.

As I talk with daughters who have lost their mothers to death, abandonment or Alzheimer’s, the trajectory of their grief recovery is often changed by the helpers who show up. The support and love of older brothers or sisters, grandmothers, neighbors, friends in support groups, hospice workers, or dads, calm the chaos of the moment and become the helpers in their lives.

Affirmation: I’ve been blessed with having helpers in my life.

Coaching questions: Who have been the helpers in your life? How have they made a difference? How have you shown up as a helper in the life of another? What difference did you make?

IMG_2071.jpgEven the famous Julia Child needed helpers…lots of helpers!