Why I Fight For Hospice
Recently, someone told me that I really needed to separate my real ministry from hospice care. I quickly told that person, “that’s impossible because hospice is ministry at it’s highest level.” If you want to start a fight you’ll never win, just tell me that hospice is just a business. I will fly out my seat and tell you countless stories of how hospice has changed many lives.
Please, let me just say this out of the gate. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) None of us choose these times, but these times have already been appointed by an Almighty God. Here is why you need hospice when it’s your time:
1. Dying is never easy.
Most don’t even like to talk about it, but the reality is we’re all going to die one day. Statistics say that most of us will not die from some sudden tragedy, but most will die of a terminal illness discoverd by doctors. When that time comes, you need all the support you can get from family, friends and those who specialize in helping folks make the most of their last days. With hospice you are provided spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and even financial support. For those of us who really feel called by God to your bedside we can help make the otherwise unbearable, the best possible. Patients and families especially need all the support they can get during these difficult days.
2. No One Should Suffer.
I’ve been by the bedside of hundreds of dying men and women. There are peaceful deaths and then there are those who suffer greatly all the way to the end. Yes, I’m passionate about the fact that no one should suffer unnecessarily. Hospice was designed to bring patients as much comfort as possible. Hospitals aren’t designed for this, nursing homes aren’t designed for this and your primary physican doesn’t have time for this. Hospice done right will ensure that any patient is kept comfortable twenty-four seven. Once you’ve seen someone suffer it’s not a sight you care to see again. Hospice works very hard to ensure that your loved one has the maximum comfort possible. This is why hospice services are available to be provided in homes, hospitals and inside any skilled nursing facility such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
3. You Only Die Once.
You may brush this one off, but I take dying very seriously. Those last days with your loved ones are very precious. Who wouldn’t want to make the most of what time they have left? Hospice focuses on quality because none of us can control the quantity of our days. Called hospice workers can help make those last days be some of the best days. Death is one of the most life impacting things we deal with in this life. Peace awaits those who feel their last days with their loved one went well. Years of regret await those who feel death snuck up on them and the moments they had left were not seized.
I could give you countless more reasons of why you need to be pro-hospice. I had a lady one time say, “Pastor, I just don’t like that word hospice because it means I’m going to die.” I told her, “Mam, with or without hospice you are going to die one day. We’re just here to make that process a lot easier.” And, if I had my way we would change the name to “Help Us”. Why? Because that is why hospice exists. To help patients and families get the best end of life care possible.
So, when man has done all he can and death comes knocking at your door, call hospice. We not only feel called to be by your bedside, but we can help make that bedside experience a peaceful experience for everyone involved. May God bless you and your family.
*Written in 2013