Friday, February 01, 2008

Hospice


I woke up one morning this week to find that I am embarked on end-of-life care to my grandmother. It started as her visiting on Wednesday; by Thursday we realized she would never be able to keep her doctor's and hairdresser's appointments on Friday. By Thursday noon she was referred into hospice care here at my house. Like a snow falling and accumulating silently outside, changing the way everything seems.

Her nurse and personal care aide will come for the first time on Monday. In the meantime she rests in her new hospital bed (Daisy has moved in with Clara), and enjoys taking her meals from a tray in the armchair by the fire.

I am still partly wondering how this happened, what the end of the road will be like, how long before the snow melts. But I know that my Redeemer lives.

79 comments:

Charity Grace said...

I'm sorry, Anna. Prayers for you as you care for your grandmother in her last days.

Serena said...

I'm praying for you and yours, Anna.

Karen said...

I'm very sorry to hear this, Anna. We just went through this in December with my Dad. My prayers will continue to be with you all.
Blessings and (((hugs))),
Karen

Polly said...

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
Proverbs 31:21

ang said...

Anna,
I frequently visit and read but never comment. My prayers are with you and your family. On the subject of caring for her mother at the end of her life, a friend said this to me: I prayed that we (her, her husband and many young children)would be a blessing and a comfort to her. I believe we were. What stands out is what a blessing she was to each of us. That time was a gift from the Father.

Warmly,
Angela

Keli said...

I'm so sorry Anna. Our prayers are with you.

Keli

Meredith said...

Oh, Anna. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

You can do this, Anna.
I have just been through hospice with my Mother who went to be with Jesus this last October.She had cancer. The Lord was so gracious to me, we had excellent hospices nurses. It was tough but I don't regret going through it. I will never be the same again. God has used this in my life in many different ways.You will be in my prayers.God is faithful.
Barb from Nebraska

Heather said...

Amen, our Redeemer lives.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Judy said...

Dearest Anna,
This is a bittersweet time for you and your family. Bitter because of the loss but sweet that she is with loved ones. With hospice care everything should go smoothly. In years to come your children will have very special memories of this time. How wonderful it is to have the hope of eternal life. In loving sympathy, Judy

Lisa said...

I am also a frequent reader but have never commented. My DH and I took care of his grandmother at the end of her life. Like you it happened quite suddenly and unexpectantly. While it had its hard moments, it was trully a blessing. I cherish that short time that we had her. I pray that the load will be light and that the blessings will be many. I also believe that it will teach your children a lesson that will stay with them forever.

Kitty's Country Kitchen said...

First let me say that I love your blog, I have it linked on my blog, lol. Second, my mother took a very bad turn for the worst recently with her bout with Alzehimers and can no longer be taken care of by my brother. I have decide that I will have to take her in to live with me for the time being. I too wonder where this road will bring us.............Kitty

Tami said...

We just dealt with this with my mother who passed away right before Christmas last year. It was a difficult time, but was made easier by the Hospice nurses who helped care for her. My prayers are with you.

Tracy said...

Anna,
My prayers are with you. My elderly grandmother has lived with our family for nearly two years. It was resolved before she came, that no matter how long she lived, we would care for her. (She is in good health so far, and will be 84 in May.)

So much to think about. I have her will, her burial wishes, her bank account, etc. all in my care, and it is overwhelming at times, but I know that she feels at peace that someone cares for her.

May you savor each moment that you can spend caring for her. And truly, what a blessing this is. For her. For your mother who is with you also. For your children. This is life, and so many try to brush it under the carpet and look the other way. Bless you.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, Anna, I am sorry! I have walked this road myself, with my own mother and then my dear mother-in-love. It's not an easy road, but finding strength in Him daily made it possible. And the memories we have now of that time are precious to our entire family. God bless you as you travel this path.

Sharon said...

Hospice care is incredibly gentle and kind. I took care of my neighbor's mother for a year and at the end we had hospice help us. Rest assured they are wonderful and will be there for your grandmother and for you and your family with kindness, compassion and and love. They are a blessing. Prayers for your grandmother, you and your family.

Anonymous said...

May God be your constant companion as you care for your sweet Grandma. He will give you the strength to face each day ahead. You are an inspiration to all the lives you touch. Know that you are loved and prayed for by many. What a blessing for your Grandma to be at home with all those who love her. What a blessing for your family to be there to usher her into heaven.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

I'm sorry, Anna. I'm praying for you and your family.

Julian said...

I know this time is difficult for you Anna, in many ways. Sometimes in the bittersweet, there is the greatest joy. You are blessed to share these last days with your grandmother, gathering moments in memory, as well as your children. You will be the one to help to usher her into the Kingdom. What a gift of life, of lessons and so many blessings for you and your family. God is in all of this. He has orchestrated every detail, and knows all the tomarrows. My heart and my constant prayers are with you.
Christina Gomez

Celeste said...

Oh Anna, I felt so sad as I read your blog today. All I could think of after that though, was how lucky your grandmother is to be there with you and your family, in your lovely, warm, and welcoming home. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Sincerely, Celeste

Mrs.B said...

Oh Anna, I'm so very sorry....

jen said...

Your Grnadmother is so fortunate to be surrounded bu the love and warmth of family at this time in her life. The surroundings for her sound so peaceful in your home.

Prayers out to you all.

Anonymous said...

Anna i am so sorry i will keep you and your family in my prayers God is a good God and he is there with you and your family at this time.

Jenny said...

Anna, what a wonderful gift for you and your grandmother to be able to spend this special time together. I'm sure your faith will give you the strength you need to give her a peaceful place to be.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your grandmother. My dear Granny just passed away this afternoon.

{{{hugs and prayers for you}}}

Robin in Ca.

Baleboosteh said...

Dear Anna, I am so sorry. My sisters and I did hospice at home for my mother before her death in 2001. It was a bittersweet time for us but remains a source of the most wonderful memories. May God bless and strengthen you personally and may all your family know God's peace.

Anonymous said...

It is an honor to love someone into eternity. God is most faithful.

Anonymous said...

Dear sister, you will never be sorry. ~Mary Lou

Adrienne said...

Anna -
My prayers will be with you as you walk this last part of the journey with your grandmother. It's not easy but God will hold your hand and go with you. You will find that you have been blessed to be able to be there for her. Hospice has been a wonderful part of our lives with two dear family members. Don't forget to take care of yourself in the middle of the task ahead. ~Adrienne~

AnnMarie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm happy to hear that she is surrounded by love during her last days. May they remain peaceful for all of you.

Becky K. said...

Isn't it good to know that the Lord "Knows the plans HE has for us"?
I will be praying for your family through this time.
Hospice is wonderful and there is nothing like caring for your family member up to the end to provide closure and peace...
Hugs,
Becky K.

Anonymous said...

as I prepared your cranberry/blueberry cake for breakfast this morning, was praying for you.

May you be comforted as you comfort, may you see the Lord in this time.

I held my grandmother in my arms last April when she went to be with Him and it was more precious than words.

prayers and thoughts for you and your dear ones.
deb meyers

Anonymous said...

and to Robin in Ca., prayers and peace, may the Lord comfort you.

deb meyers

Suzanne said...

Prayers and strength to you all as you endure this! But yes, our Redeemer lives:-) and he will give you the strenght to get through this.

Anonymous said...

I, too, will be praying for you and your family. May God bless you during this difficult time with His love, comfort and presence. The care and love you show your dear Grandmother will bless her immeasurable, I know.

In Him,
Melinda

cheri said...

Frequent visitor, first time commenter.

Both of my grandmothers have been gone for many years. I miss them.

What a beautiful gift you are giving your grandmother-her remaining time on earth surrounded by those she loves most in a peaceful and beautiful setting.

Sewing, decorating, reading and writing projects may need to be set aside for a time. They will keep.

Your time with your grandmother is a precious gift.

Praying for you and your family. For strength, for peace, for comfort.

Pam said...

Anna, I will be praying for you and your family.

G.L.H. said...

A precious gift God has given you. Praying for you and your family--

Barbara

C.A. Worcester said...

Anna,

I have been in your shoes...with my father. He was a robust, movie star handsom, self directed man. He was older when I was born. My father was diagnosed with a terminal disease and he passed away within 2 weeks of finding out. He said he had a nice life and that he had no regrets.

I stayed with my dad and took care of him as I much as I could. It was hard to do....seeing his body change hour by hour. Looking back, as I was not a Believer at the time, I can still see God's wonderful grace on me. He held me up, wiped my tears, gave my heart peace and kept me on the path towards Him. Despite the fact that it was one of the hardest times in my life, I wouldn't change a thing about it. It was a life lesson that changed me forever. To value life. To live life....really LIVE life while we are here. To enjoy life as it is and make the moments a memory.

I am so glad to see Anna that you and your family have invited your mother and grandmother into your home to take care of them as you can. And the biggest thing is that they LET you. (My mother REFUSES to let us kids do ANYTHING for her and she is 80 in a few days....it is sad).

May God continue to bless you, give you physical and mental strength, increase your spiritual wisdom and faith beyond measure and your children learn valuable Godly lessons from your example. You are a wonderful person! :-)

Hugs to you and know you are close in prayer here in this little heart. Blessings and Shalom to you and your family Anna.

C.A. Worcester

Peggy said...

Dear Anna, I have thought of your grandmother many times since you first wrote about her, about what a lovely lady she was and about the bounteous meals and gracious hospitality that were her hallmark. I wish you both courage and peace. Your post brought tears, of sympathy and of remembrance of my own experience with a loved one's death and hospice care. Peggy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being a beautiful witness of your faith in God.

Blessings to you and your family.

Haus Frau said...

praying <><

Amy said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Anna. Through reading your blog, it feels as if I know you and I feel the pain that you must be experiencing. (((Lots of Hugs!!!)))

TNS said...

God be with you on this journey. The ending of a life can be a very holy time. You are providing, love, care, beauty and warmth to your Grandma as she ends her journey. We will pray for you.

Heather said...

What a privilege to be entrusted with this 'home going' time in your grandmother's life. I'm certain that this time will forever impact the hearts and minds of your children as you graciously and beautifully provide for all of her needs. May the Lord bless you and keep you, strengthen you daily and give you His unfathomable peace.

Missy said...

Blessings to you-- wishing you beauty to to-be-treasured time amid the chill of the Valley.

JennyCash said...

I'm sorry, Anna. Praying that God will give you everything you need during this time.....

Rhoto said...

Dear Anna,
Enjoy both your time spent being with your Grandmother and caring for her. There will be great blessings for you both...
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (Pastoral/Palliative volunteer)

Candace said...

Our prayers are with you and yours duringt his time.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, Anne, as you take care of your Grandmother and mother. I am also thinking of your Mom at this time and your family as you prepare for the road ahead.

Leigh Ann said...

The Lord bless and keep you and yours. I will keep you in my prayers.

Mrs. Rabe said...

Praying for you Anna. This is a difficult thing and yet precious. How lovely for her that she can enjoy her meals by the fire. She is blessed to have you all, and that your mother is there as well.

God Bless you.

Lisa said...

Anna ~ prayers for you and your family during this time. While it can be a difficult time, it can also be beautiful. Deep peace to you and yours.

BTW, the photographs on this post are luminous.

Barbara said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Will be praying for her, you and your family.

Gina said...

Thinking of you, Anna and praying, for strength, grace, peace. So many wise sisters wrote of what they've been through--you are blessed.

Anonymous said...

Anna, (dear friend),
I pray that this time with your grandmother is as the Lord directs it.
I will continue to pray for all of you.
You and yours are so special.
in His love,
Lynne in NC

Anna said...

Thank you all so much for your kind comments. It's wonderfully reassuring to know that so many of you have experienced this yourselves and lived to tell the tale. Polly, thank you for your unexpected use of a beautiful verse. I will never think of it the same. You all make me feel better!

Joy said...

Oh Anna,
My heart and prayers are with you...
may His blessings and peace be with you during this bittersweet time.

Katie said...

I will be praying for y'all for the peace that only He can provide. I am sure your Grandmother feels the blessing of being in your home and having your family with her during this hour of her life.

Jenn V said...

Anna,

I am a frequent visitor who is de-lurking to offers my prayers. I lost my mother this past June and write about the process on my blog under the category "Mom." I was one of the primary caregivers (I went to my mother's home each day) and my mother-in-law moved in with us to help care for my husband and three boys so I could be there for my mother in her last days. Hospice is an amazing service and we were all forever changed. This will bless your children as well as they will be part of the process and see her transition to her heavenly life. They will share special times with her that they will never forget. It was, at times, very difficult, and everyone was very emotional, but it was also a special, even magical time of focusing on the meat of life and reflecting on all that is most important to us. We all drew closer to our loved ones and we are still more intentional about our lives and how we spend our time. I saw the chance to serve my mother in her last days as an incredible honor. I finally had the chance relfect back to her all the love and support she has always shown me.

May God bless you as you bless your grandmother.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

I visit your blog from time to time and enjoy peeking into your lives. May our gracious heavenly father be with you during this challenging time. God's blessings. Amy in Texas

Cammy said...

What Jenn said is beautiful. A friend of mine says, "There are no coincidences." Your grandmother was meant to be with your family at this time, and as difficult as it will be, it is a blessing for your whole family. I too am delurking to offer my prayers; think how many others are not delurking, but are praying as well. You are surrounded by prayerful love.

"Jo, dear, don't hope any more. It won't do any good, I'm sure of that. We won't be miserable, but enjoy being together while we wait. We'll have happy times, for I don't suffer much, and I think the tide will go out easily, if you help me."
Beth to Jo in Little Women

God Bless you,
Cammy

Nora Lee said...

Anna,
My prayers are with you and your family. Sharing the last days of a loved ones life can be the most precious. I've been where you are now, and know it is not easy, but God's strength will see you through.

Sandra

Debi said...

You don't know me....I come and read and leave quietly...but I love your blog and the beautiful photos that accompany your posts...my daughter is very inspired by your handmade things...
just want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you serve your grandmother in her last moments...you are so blessed to have this opportunity!

Carla said...

Anna, amen to that. Our Redeemer does live and as the song says "the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken, they conquered death to bring me victory." I prayed for you and your family this morning and I can tell from your writings that your faith is strong that the Comforter will see you through this.

Mrs. B said...

God bless your family's final days with your grandmother. I pray for peace and courage for each of you.

tamlovesran said...

Lifting your family up in prayer.

Lady Dorothy said...

Anna, you wrote so beautifully about this time in your family that I just had to pause and take it all in. And Polly, you responded so profoundly to the poetry of Anna's words that I sat in awe again of the ability of God's Word to meet our every need. May He be glorified in all. My prayers are with you and yours, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this.
You will be in my prayers.
God has promised "My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in weakenss."
A promise that I often pray over when caring for an older relative who lives with us.
Annaelisabeth

Kelly said...

Oh dear Anna!
I will continue to lift all of you up in prayer......my heart goes out to you.

Blessings~
Kelly

Linda said...

Death is a terrible thing, no matter to whom it comes--young or old. But I have found that it is a great great blessing to be able to care for those we love in their last days and let them know how much we love them. God bless you and all your family.

April said...

We took care of my grandmother at the end of her life. It was such a gift to us. I can never put into words how profoundly close the limen between heaven and earth felt in those moments.

What a blessing for all of you.

Praying for peace and strength and stamina...

ChupieandJ'smama said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Julie said...

Praying Anna. Im so sorry to hear about the sudden change.

Jodi said...

((Anna)) ~ Praying for you as you walk this path. Praying for your grandmother. I went back to find earlier posts I knew you'd written about her . . . the way she always had a big lunch prepared, the day you and Daisy took her out for hamburgers. It sounds like she would find much happiness being surrounded by the love of her family in the glow of Daisy's colorful room.

May you find strength and stamina in the shadow of His wings. (Ps. 63)

han_ysic said...

Our redeemer surely lives. I pray that this will be a special time for you all, and you will be blessed by walking together as a family through this time. Shalom Hannah

Tracey, life on the ridge said...

I lost my mother 5 years ago and was alone with her when she passed. I was holding her had and am blessed that I was able to share that moment with a woman who was the person I admired most in my life. My prayers are with you, and remember, with Christ you can do all things.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I am also a "lurker" on your site(I have heard that there are names for those like us). I am in a very busy time of life(a 12 year old and four under the age of 6)but your blog has been a very cheerful bright spot in my life...thank you for it. I wanted to say that as a teenager my mother took care of our dying grandmother for a time. She later told me how stressful this was for her, but I was able to tell her how much I valued that time that our Grandmother was in our home. I was just 18 years old and it was the first time I got to know my Grandmother as a person and not just as "Grandma". I was finally old enough to realize that Grandma had a personality and had a interesting history to share. You have recieved many beautiful comments but I just wanted to share what a gift you are giving your children.
God Bless you in this. Amy

Polly said...

Anna, I just came here to re-read the posts you wrote when providing hospice care for your grandmother. My own dear, dear grandmother is dying. She is not at my house, but is in her own home up the hill from us. I just returned from visiting her. I am trying to be there as often as I can during these last days. Each time I wonder--is it the last time? Today I found, in the sunroom, a photo album of black and white pictures from the late 1940s--my young grandmother holding my infant mother (who died in 2001). Magical. I looked at them while my grandfather devotedly brushed her hair.

Reading about your experience has helped soothe me. I have lost loved ones before, but never in this slow fade, up close and personal. My mother's death was sudden and my other grandparents died when I was at college, or living away from them. This is different.

Anyhow, I appreciate your posts. Thank you for sharing.

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