Monday, July 25, 2011

Ditch the Plan

Is a nap in your plan?
     I recently spoke with a young man in the process of getting his MBA.  One of the things he had to do as part of his course work was not only to make a 5 year plan, but also a plan for his entire life.  Seriously.

     There are so many things caring for a being at the end of life and hospice work teach us, but one of them is this: ditch the plan and here's why.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quote for the Day

Life only demands from you the strength you possess.

~ David Hammarskjold

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quote for the Day

I might have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.

~ Lou Gehrig

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quote for the Day

How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.

~ Dame Cicely Saunders

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quote for the Day

When we long for a life with no difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds, and diamonds are made under pressure.

~ Peter Marshalls

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quote for the Day

In the practice of healing, a kind heart is as valuable as medical training, because it is the source of happiness for both oneself and others. People respond to kindness even when medicine is ineffective, and in turn cultivating a kind heart is a cause of our own good health.

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quote for the Day


Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.

~ Emily Dickinson

Friday, July 1, 2011

Surviving the Decision to Euthanize

     In our work, we talk many, many people who have made the decision to euthanize their companion animal in the past.  Because we are a hospice, people wonder where we "stand" on euthanasia and often assume we oppose it.  We routinely hear people say things such as:

"There was nothing else we could do."
"My vet told me it was time."
"She was in pain."
"He was so old."
"I just couldn't care for her anymore."
"He was going to die soon anyway; I didn't want him to suffer."
"I wish there had been another option."
"That was the hardest day of my life.  It was awful.  I will never forget it."
"I could never go through that again; I won't get another animal."

     Sometimes the person is confident and secure in their decision.  But often the conversation is about justification.  The person believes we, like everyone else, is questioning and judging the decision - and judging them for making it.

     But even more important, the words are laced with justification to the person him or herself.  There is guilt, doubt, regret.  There is a need for reassurance that the decision was correct, good, and honorable because the person still isn't sure if it was.  The person may have mentally convinced him or herself, but something nags in the gut or heart.

     Is this you?  If you are being well and truly honest with yourself, do you still have doubt, regret and guilt?  Do you wonder, "what if"?

Quote for the Day

You were, you will be – 
know this while you are;
Your spirit has traveled both long and afar.
It came from the Source, 
to the Source it returns -
The spark which was lighted eternally burns.

~ Tieme Ranapiri of the Maori