Permission to Live

In hospice care, it is understood that the patient is going to die. There is time to think, to reconcile, to say goodbye. For the patient, there is time to worry, to wonder if their family will be okay without them. They can actually hold on to life, for a time, with these thoughts. Though death waits, they cling to life.

In hospice work, the most important guidance we gave a family member was to give their loved one permission to die. Release them from the responsibilities of this life by telling them it was okay to go; a hard thing to do, but necessary. As a family member gave their loved one permission to die, without realizing it, they gave themselves permission to live.

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2 responses to “Permission to Live

  1. Sometimes I have wondered which is harder-knowing and fearing that person’s death every day but also getting that time with them to say your good-byes and I love you’s, VS… the unexpected death of someone. You don’t get that chance to say good-bye, I’m sorry, I love you, they are just suddenly gone leaving the family to grapple with the loss and makes it harder to move on. If they have awful injuries is it right for them to have lingered on so we have that chance or was it better they passed away so unexpected.Even worse when it’s a child/teenager and they have such a life ahead of them.

  2. Hospice care was so important for my father……I thank God they were there to help….yes, he was surrounded by family….but hospice was quietly doing the things that were necessary so the family could be free to be together…does that make sense?

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