A Sacred Encounter – A Hospice Story
On December 6, 2015 I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Light Up A Life Tree Lighting Ceremony at Mission Hospital. This annual event allows guests to celebrate and honor loved ones, friends and caregivers and supports hospice and palliative care services, which helps terminally ill patients and their families cope with end of life issues.
My story centered around the passing of my father, John in 1999, and how hospice helped my family care for him as well as for me to serve as his caregiver. But even after his passing, hospice helped my mother Josephine transform from widow to caregiver herself when her mother was placed on hospice care less than a month after her husband passed.
It was a truly sacred event for me to share my experience and remember the love and care that my dad modeled for me all my life, and how I was able to pay it back to him. In my presentation I tried to connect our guests with their own individual journeys through my story. My wish is that each of us can experience the loss of a love one with dignity and grace, and without worries, regrets and anyone holding on.
To end the presentation I made this video that reflects the role hospice plays in caring for patients and their loved ones coping with loss. Ultimately, when the fear, pain and uncertainty associated with the end of life are lessened, we are allowed the grace to be present and in the moment with the ones we love, and for everyone to be at peace when the time comes to let go.