When you’re facing the end of your life or the life of someone you love, your emotions run the gamut from sadness to anger, denial and back to sadness. Not everyone enters hospice at this time, but families who have the experience tell us time and time again, “It was a gift.” Why is that?
There are 4 Gifts of Hospice that are based on the work of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a pioneer in the study of death. They are four expressions of caring that can be shared by the person who is dying to loved ones, as well as by loved ones to the person who is dying. We offer these words to you and your family as a guide for love and forgiveness.
The 4 Gifts of Hospice
I’m sorry. Please forgive me
A time to share thoughts and feelings, a time when it is possible that forgiveness and reconciliation are experienced. We can say we are sorry for anything that may have gone wrong between us in our relationship with another person.
I love you
Sometimes a more meaningful “I love you” is able to be expressed after an honest “I’m sorry” has been heard. People like to hear the words “I love you” said out loud. This expression of caring is not something to take for granted.
Thank you for who you have been in my life, my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter, my mother, my father, my sister, my brother, my friend. A time to do some life review, looking at the good times, and maybe those not so good. Getting out the family photo album or videos and sharing, expressing one’s thankfulness for who this person has been in my life.
Goodbye. I’ll be okay
This may be the hardest but nevertheless the most important one. It is both giving and receiving permission to let go. Not that there won’t be pain and grieving, but it may be the time to say good-bye and let the other person know you will be okay.
Our Lady of Peace Hospice chaplains, doctors, nurses, and volunteers are committed to helping families through this process with a goal of finding peace.