Monday, 12 April 2021

Love

 

One of the privileges of working in palliative care is that you work alongside people that truly love each other.
Looking after someone who is dying that you care about  is a labour of love and where as it is not always possible or practical to always achieve the death that so many of us want ie at home in your own bed, there are a whole plethora of services , like ours, which are specifically designed to help that wish be realised but not without commitment and care from loved ones .

I have witnessed true love at these times.
And I have just witnessed it today, so powerful it was that on my way back from the community to the hospice I had  to sit in my car on north Shore for a few moments and watch the sea with the windows wide open and with the breeze gathering my thoughts and soothing my feelings.

I have witnessed.....
Pure, undiluted, warts and all love 
Desperate love
Tired and hopeful and hopeless love
And I am moved , every time I witness it. 

To be loved that strongly is such a privilege.  

59 comments:

  1. You, John, show people you love them every day at work, the true definition of end of life care. Sadly, not all in the caring professions have the empathy needed. I thank all those who do. xx

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    1. I don’t love them ...deArheart x. I respect them, in some instances like them , but not love x

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    2. Sorry, I didn't express myself very well. What I meant is that caring for someone is an act of love. Not everyone can do it. To some, it is "just a job". They might as well be stacking shelves in a supermarket. xx

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    3. I know HH
      I didnt want today’s blog to be about me, it wasn’t

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  2. The sadness is how few of us achieve such love.

    Have I ever told you that I love you John? I do, and in response to my question of trust the other night....Yes, you can x

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  3. I can honestly say I've never felt truly embraced by love from anyone but my mum-(I've had several relationships)My absolute unconditional love is for my dogs and gut wrenching x

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    1. Another honest and brave comment.....I get the dog love x

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  4. Re: "the death that so many of us want i.e. at home in your own bed", Forever somewhat the contrarian, which I don't do deliberately, I have often thought that dying at home is the last thing I would want, unless unexpectedly in my sleep of course. If bed-bound for long then I would rather be in a hospital or home and hopefully less bother to everyone, other than those whose job it is to deal with the bother. But just dropping down suddenly while out for a walk or playing golf would be far better for all concerned. Of course we often don't get what we want. I have been contemplated at what age it would be ideal for me to take up ever more dangerous sports. As for your day, sitting gazing at the sea with a fresh breeze blowing over you sounds like a good idea.

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    1. "...been contemplating..." I mean

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    2. Most research underlines that most people want to die at home. It’s a rarity nowadays unfortunately

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    3. I don't doubt the research. I doubt my tendency to be like most. "Odd from the day you were born," my Father once said, perhaps affectionately, when I was middle-aged, but I am not sure quite how it was meant. Also, I would probably find your line of work impossible, and I am glad there are those who find it possible.

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    4. Anonymous2:08 pm

      Andrew, I heartily agree. My mom lived to 102, and during those last few very difficult and heart wrenching years, when occasionally I couldn't escape thoughts of my own genetic lottery, I kept thinking I will need to take up skydiving, etc.
      Nina

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    5. Ah Nina, let me know when it is time for us to set up the "Skydiving with Shoddy Cheap Parachutes Club" and we could perhaps jump out hand in hand... Or "Cliff Diving for Oldies Club".

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  5. You do a difficult job with huge professionalism and immense love John. I don't think anyone apart from my father has ever truly loved me, I assume it's because I'm unloveable. However I am lucky enough to have someone I truly love.

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    1. This was difficult to read , thank you for your honesty x

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  6. we should all be so lucky.

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  7. This post has touched me to the very soul John.

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    1. Thanks Cherie. I didn’t have the words...you did

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    2. Bless you pet. x

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  8. Palliative care IS love. For some people that's the last they see. Sitting by the sea sounds like paradise to me....

    XOXO

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  9. I hope the people receiving love as they near death also received it when they were healthy on this earth from those same people.

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    1. I may have misunderstood the post.

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    2. Well I hope so too, but it wasn’t the gist of my post, I am just commentating on what I see at work

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    3. Happy birthday again deArheart x

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    4. Thanks John. I thought I understood the post and then later I read the other comments and thought maybe I had completely misunderstood. xx

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  10. Love...such a small word for such an enormous feeling and emotion...we all need it and if we have had it we miss its loss greatly.x

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  11. I think you are a very, very special person John and judging by the many comments are very much respected and loved. Your work is proof of the huge amount of love you have for others, this in and of itself a very gift. Love Ro xx

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    1. Kind but this blog was about what I see at work...and how it’s overwhelming to see

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  12. ...".. a very special gift.." (sorry left out special)! Ro

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  13. To die at home takes planning every detail. My Uncle planned this to perfection. His first priority was to feel no pain and medical science provided this. The team included: a wonderful Hospice RN calling the shots on a daily basis, home care aids assisting around the clock, MD weekly visits occurring, and me the family member with legal standing. We had meals and cocktails together and everybody shared. On nice days, there was tea in the garden. It was hard at times but also loving and a very peaceful passing. Many thanks to Hospice.

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  14. My parents both died alone in the hospital, many years ago. I was told I was "too young" at the time, but of course, as the years have passed, I realize my grief would have been easier if I could have participated.
    XXO
    Bonnie in Minneapolis

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  15. To witness that sort of love is a privilege too John. X

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  16. Barbara Anne10:05 pm

    I, too, have been privileged to witness a couple or family saying good bye in the last hours of life for one they love and cherish. It has always brought me to tears and often while still in their presence. What grace there is when people can speak what is in their hearts at that time. No wonder you needed to stop the car to collect yourself, John.

    Hugs!

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  17. Is the pain you feel when your loved one is gone the price you have to pay for the love?

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  18. I have ben lucky enough to experience that kind of love twice - both times it was hard to see my beloved husbands pass but both times I felt that love between us to the end and it does ease the burden.

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  19. In the end everything seems to winnow down to what is important...and it is always love. To be reminded of that truth daily is a blessing.

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  20. And they are blessed to have you to provide care

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  21. Kindness and care at the end and, if we're lucky, freedom from suffering. To help someone have that is, to my mind, an honour and privilege that many of us don't realize and also we don't have the guts to step up to the plate to help, or to work in that area. People who do the work you do are angels when you are the one who needs them, and they are seen as angels by the families of those who are dying. You know all this. It must be a real workout for your heart sometimes, even when you have the big soft heart you have. I can't imagine that, seeing what you do, you don't feel a part of some kind of magic beauty in spite of all, sometimes, as ruthless as death can be. -Kate

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  22. Ten years later it still breaks my heart that my mom passed alone, before any of us could get to her to hold her hand and say I love you. I hope she knew that.
    The care you facilitate means so much to those left behind.

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  23. I nursed my husband alone until he passed at home, in our bed, with me by his side. I loved him so deeply and I know he felt the same. We found each other too late in life.

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  24. Lynn Marie11:58 pm

    I have wondered what it's like to be immersed in those most intimate moments of other families' lives as one's work. I've been there to help friends a bit a few times and have felt overwhelmed by their love and loss. Yours is a true vocation, and vocations do come at a cost sometimes to those who are called. Blessings upon you.

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  25. John, I so admire the work that you do. I don't know if I could do it. Every day when I go to the cancer center for my treatments, I have such heaviness in my heart after seeing all of the really sick people. Day after day I see them, and it breaks my heart. You have a beautiful way with words. Thanks for sharing this as it helps give me perspective on things.

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  26. Anonymous12:35 am

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  27. Beautiful.

    That is all.

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  28. My husband, beloved, light and love of my life spent his last two weeks in a private room in a public hospital and was adamant he did not want to go home to
    die (the reasons don't matter) he just didn't. So the staff set up a bed in the room for me and we spent the last two weeks together. The hospital fed me and nurtured us as a couple. I have been a little and a big bit broken since our last day together...I was blessed to be loved and adored by this magnificent man. That was 17 years ago. Feels like 17 minutes to me. Sorry, have no idea where all that came from. I don't usually comment much.

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  29. And to be witness to that love as a hospice nurse is also a rare privilege given the stuff you had to deal with in the rest of your nursing career.

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  30. Anonymous2:44 pm

    I cared for my husband at home until he died. We were young, I was in my thirties. He had been ill for several years. We decided that this was best for us and I am so grateful that we did. Rarely does one have the opportunity to express one's love so fully.

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  31. This was lovely. I copied it for my friend who does your same sort of work.

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  32. Having someone you deeply love and who deeply loves you in return is a great privilege. It's very moving to witness that.

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