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Hospice Austin’s Blog

Apr 09

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Paying Homage

I showed up for my afternoon shift at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House where my mother-in-law died more than 15 years ago. The walkway is made of bricks. Many of them contain names and life dates of people who had died at the hospice. Recent rains had caused dirt, leaves, and crushed granite to wash out of the shrubbery beds and onto the walkway.I decided to sweep the bricks as a prelude to visiting patients. It was a service to the dead, not to the living, grieving, and suffering people I would later visit.

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One of my most memorable experiences was when I provided 11th-hour relief for a young man in his 20’s with brain cancer. Each time he would cough, his head would become very red in color and he would be in obvious distress.

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Each time  I knock on a patient’s door at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, I wonder what is happening on the other side. I never know quite what to expect. I take a deep breath, walk in, and ask if they – the family, the patient – need anything.

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All of us grieve in our own way, in our own time. Hospice Austin can help guide you through the complicated and sometimes overwhelming grieving process. You do not have to grieve alone. Here is a list of our in-person and online bereavement support offerings for April.

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Mar 15

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A Lasting Bond

I started working with a 72-year-old gentleman last September – we formed an amazing bond. I was privileged to play an important role in his life. He was on his own, no family, very lonely but also a very vibrant, funny, and delightful individual.

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