Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hospice keeps on giving

Hospice nurse Marilyn ministered to my mother October-December 2011.

A card arrived earlier this month—a greeting from my mother’s principal hospice nurse. She was acknowledging, with the comforting gesture of a card and her words, my mother’s June 12 birthday anniversary, the first since her death on Dec. 6, 2011.

This nurse and her colleagues from Forrest General Hospice were such a blessing to my mother, me, my brother and Mother’s other relatives, friends, and caregivers who were present during her final few months and weeks. Their knowledge, experience and love surrounded Mother and comforted me. And when death came, hospice nurse Becky was quickly at our side to take care of immediate details, creating a sense of calm and respect.

The hospice staff and volunteers held a memorial service in March for all the patients who had died during the previous 12 months. Husband Walter and I made the 90-minute drive from the coast to the service in Hattiesburg. We had arranged to meet two of my cousins who had surrounded my mother with loving care and attention.

The investment of time and effort to organize the memorial was in itself a source of comfort. But I also anticipated the opportunity to say an in-person “thank you” to the nurses who had worked with Mother. They had eased her transition and mine at the end of her life.

It was also an opportunity to spend some time with my cousins Carolyn and Judy who had stepped in when my post-stroke limitations prevented my being with Mother as much as I wanted to be.

Three caring spirits, are, from the left, my cousins Carolyn and Judy with hospice nurse Becky.


  1. We had our first dealings with Hospice back in 2002 when my father-in-law became critically ill. They were so helpful, and I learned so many things that I never knew...truly "angels among us".

  2. 3 wonderful ladies that were and are a blessing to you. Hospice is a fantastic and loving service

  3. Hospice workers are angels in the flesh. They are unusual and very exceptional people.

  4. Hospice is amazing, they can make all the difference. I wish more people knew about them. They really helped me at one of the worst times of my life.

  5. I am so grateful for people like the lovely ladies you talked about in your post.
    It takes a very special person to do what they do and be so tender, loving and caring.
    Terrific tribute Linda.

  6. I have never met one.

  7. This is what Christian love looks like. Oh I wish my mother and I had such friends when she died. Dianne

  8. it is comforting to know that we find ourselves indebted to total strangers. Another reason to say that the world we are in is still worth living. ~ Ed Butowsky

  9. This just really touches my heart. What would we do without such angels in our lives? God bless these ladies, and all those hospice worker who ministered to you, your mother, and your family during this time of need.