The Gracious Gift Of Acceptance At The End Of Life

By Karin   “To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another’s way of life – so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit.”  – Henry Miller I consider myself an “active spirit.” As a hospice chaplain, I am…
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How To Talk To A Child About Death

By Kriston Wenzel, LSW Talking about death is not something most of us are comfortable doing—even with other adults. Sometimes in the midst of our own grief, we forget that death can present a tremendous blow to even the youngest children. Children understand death very differently than adults, depending on their age and stage of…
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Understanding And Caring For Those With Dementia

By Roxanne Smedsrud, RN When I was in junior high, my great-grandma Ree went to live in the nursing home in Devils Lake, N.D. She had dementia and could no longer care for herself.  At the time, I knew that dementia meant she couldn’t remember things, and I thought it was just a normal part…
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When It Is Your Time, Would You Like To “Die Gently?”

By Mary Lou I recently listened to an online discussion moderated by Don Schumacher, president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and featuring Dr. Ira Byock, renowned author, lecturer and practicing hospice physician. The focus was on dialoguing with individuals about their disease situation and the apparent path ahead. I have heard Dr.…
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Experiencing The Circle Of Life With Hospice Care

I want to tell you a story about a little girl who was 6 ½ years old. Her aunt was dying of ovarian cancer. This young girl had a wonderful relationship with this aunt, even though for most of her life the aunt had lived thousands of miles away. The summer this aunt died, the…
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