Author: Tom Maxwell Posted: Oct. 31, 2018
Over the past few months, I have had the unfortunate need to support my family through hospice.
My Grandmother Faye (my paternal grandmother) was admitted to Encompass Hospice of Amarillo. I’m pleased to report, Grandma Faye’s experience with hospice was beyond our expectations.
With a career in the hospice space, one can become somewhat immune to the hospice process. It all kind of hits you in the face though when you watch your own family challenge their emotions in the process.
Our admission process was flawless, which helped tremendously when we as a family were already dealing with a lot emotionally. (Admittedly, I did have the advantage of knowing the best people to call to get Grandma Faye where she needed to be at the right time.)
Once admitted, the chaplain came over to the house and spent time with Grandma Faye. He was there for almost two hours explaining the process of how the body and mind change during the end-of-life process. Grandma’s mind was still very coherent during her last few weeks, but her body did become weak and tired.
On the Saturday before she passed, the chaplain stopped by and told Grandma Faye it was time to start saying her goodbyes.
My father texted me soon after the chaplain’s visit and said “Tom, when your grandma calls you, Son, make sure you answer.”
She called. And you better believe I answered on the first ring. On the other end of the line was pure peace and love. My grandma told me she was proud of me and that her time here on earth had come to an end. She told me she was ready to go see my grandfather who passed away more than 50 years ago.
What an amazing gift I received from the angels of hospice. I would not trade that 90-second phone call for any other gift in the world.
Over dinner after Grandma’s viewing, all of us cousins traded stories of our final calls with Grandma. We all agreed it was one of the most special moments we’ve had in life. We all credited the amazing chaplain for his guidance, knowledge and most of all perfect timing. For this man to recognize it was time to make the recommendation for the phone calls, gave us all a memory we will forever cherish.
This week is Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week - October 21-27, 2018. I am so proud to honor the pastors, chaplain’s and spiritual-care professionals who have touched my life, as well as every other patient’s family member, under the care of hospice. Thank you all for what you do. Additionally, thank you to all of the hospices that have figured out the best way to engage pastoral/spiritual-care professionals to best serve patients and their families.
Below are some links to Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week articles:
Please contact me or any of my amazing team members to chat more about hospice or home care. Please take care of each other and remember to be kind to everyone.