When I was a kid, we never heard of the word ‘hospice’; or if we did it was about some lodging facility somewhere in Europe. Maybe I’m thinking of ‘hostel’. Just now, when I looked it up in the dictionary, I was surprised to find that hospice IS (definition #1) “a lodging for travelers, young persons, or the underprivileged especially when maintained by a religious order.” Definition #2 is the ‘new’ definition, “a facility or program designed to provide a caring environment for meeting the physical and emotional needs of the terminally ill.” If it weren’t such a serious topic, we could say that now, ‘hospice’ is ‘all the rage’.
Now, if you’re really sick; you’re not getting any better; there’s nothing else the doctors can do for you; and you’re fixin’ to die; they put you in hospice. It may be a special facility or it may be at home, but the regimen of care is to keep you comfortable, as little pain as possible, with some emotional, psychological, maybe even spiritual support, to help you prepare for the inevitable. ‘Course who knows (besides God) if you’re really fixin’ to die. People rise from the ‘almost dead’ every day, for no apparent reason, just because God is not yet ready for them to go. Continue reading