Tag Archives: death

Will You Choose Quality or Quantity at the End of Your Life?

It’s been 56 months since I placed an agonizing call to Iowa Hospice about my dad.

4 dice, 6, 3, 5, 5, brown cup on side, brown and black granite countertop

For most of us, how our life ends is just a roll of the dice. A lucky few can intentionally choose quality or quantity for the number of our days.

 

With that call, he, and all of us, his family, entered the last leg of a journey whose outcome had been set two years earlier.

In the time since a spinal stroke, Dad had become a great-grandfather, had seen Mom sell the house they had lived in for 42 years, had given his most prized possessions – his HAM radio gear – to his only grandson-in-law, and had spent roughly 20,000 hours in a hospital bed or wheel chair. Continue reading

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Words Cannot Express: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Say

How many times have you heard someone say, or even read on a sympathy card, ‘words cannot express how I feel.’? Maybe you’ve said those words, or wanted to say

words: person, disease other words not in focus

When you’re searching for the words to express your feelings, look in your heart, not in your head.

them, when something terrible happened to someone in your life. You wanted to comfort your friend, neighbor or family member, and the right words did not spring to mind, and so you fell for the myth that the words don’t exist. Continue reading

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At Least You Had a Choice

“At least you had a choice.”

I still remember the sting of these words when I heard them as a 29-year-old newly divorced single mother. The speaker was an older woman whose husband had died months before my husband and I separated.

white callas with purple throats, spotted green leaves

Your grief and pain is unique to you, no matter how outwardly similar it might look to others, and you always deserve compassion.

I was still in my ‘year of firsts,’ while she had passed that milestone.

I don’t remember anything about our conversation before or after that line. I do remember thinking that she was wrong. Continue reading

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