In the end is a Beginning

Coming full circle The baby shower was over. The guests had left and Jean sat alone surrounded by beautiful gifts of baby clothes, practical accessories, a stroller, bassinette and crib. She reached over and picked up a small white nightgown with pink flowers. She fingered the soft cloth and thought of her yet-to-be born baby girl. Kathy Kalina, in her book Midwife for souls, compares giving birth to the dying process. As the pregnant mother thinks about the loss of her independence the dying person makes decisions to plan their departure from this life. As the expectant woman gathers baby clothes and equipment the dying person starts to give away things that have special meaning. The soon-to-be mom starts to make room in her heart for new life while the dying person wonders how to say good bye. The pregnant mother wonders Will it hurt? Where will I be when I feel the first pangs of labor? Who will be with me? What will it be like? The dying person asks the very same questions. Just as midwives help mothers deliver their children, hospice helps patients face the end of their lives. High Peaks Hospice is here to help make this passage happen with comfort and peace. Margo knew that she had perhaps two months, maybe three weeks, left to her on this earth. Lung cancer had metastasized and she had to make some decisions. She was up in her bedroom putting away clean clothes when she saw the yellow piece of fabric and pulled out a small nightgown. She put the still soft cloth to her cheek and went to the phone to call her daughter. This seemingly insignificant piece of clothing was to be given to its wearer. Referrals for hospice care are given by physicians, nurses, friends, neighbors, the patient or family members. Call 1-877-324-1686 to learn more about High Peaks Hospice or visit our Web site at www.highpeakshospice.com. Jan Demers is executive director of High Peaks Hospice.

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