To The Last Breath

Welcome to our meandering thoughts in "To the Last Breath."
This blog is an exploration of living life fully until we die, regardless of the circumstances surrounding us.

Various authors associated with HSCD will contribute to our postings, and we invite you to share your comments in return.

To The Last Breath

Missing Really Well

Missing Really Well
Richard Wagamese, "Embers"

This week's Hospice Blog is a gift from Hospice board member, Treva Olson.

Treva writes:
My mother died 4 years ago; she was 96. I was feeling quite bereft one day, longing to have a conversation with her, when I opened a wee book by an Ojibway wisdom holder.  In his writing he often has conversations with "old woman" and "old man," meaning elders.

The moment I read this I felt deep gratitude and grace. We live our lives in moments; precious moments. Each moment lived fully is  one that is filled with wonder and joy. My mom now lives in my full presence.

Wagamese's book was given to me by a family just three days before my dad's memorial a year ago. Out of it came the eulogy I spoke for him; Richard's words are very heartfull.

Living Well

Living Well

Our inaugural blog is written by Hospice Program Coordinator, Bill Harder.

Bill writes:
A palliative diagnosis means that our warranty is getting thin - that whatever ails us may very well be the cause of our demise. Our final breath could be imminent, or it might be months or years down the road, depending upon the nature of the illness. It sounds a bit grim. Until you consider that humanity has a 100% mortality rate.  In that sense, being alive could be considered palliative, for life will eventually wind down for all of us, and we'll give this mortal rental back.

In the meantime, poor warranty or not, most of us want to experience life richly, at every stage, every age, and in the face of every challenge. We seek meaningful connection to family and friends; we look for ways to share our gifts; we want to Love and be Loved.

Hospice endeavors to increase the quality of life for  those whose days are counting down due to an incurable illness. Whether someone has seven days or seven hundred - living well and fully is not out of reach; they just need a little support to make it happen.

We invite your thoughts on how you, or a loved-one, have lived well in the face of challenging physical limits.

I leave the last word to author, Simone Elkeles:

“If there's one thing I learned,
it's that nobody is here forever.
You have to live for the moment,
each and every day,
the here, the now.”
(Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry)