Why dying at home is not all it's cracked up to be
excerpt from the essay by Joy Johnston, July 20, 1015 The CareGiver Space
"I don’t regret that my mother died at home with hospice care. I don’t regret being her faithful, albeit fumbling caregiver.
I regret that I was so preoccupied with caregiver duties, like administering medications, changing diapers, and treating bedsores that I lost sight of the simple joys that my mom could have experienced over the waning days of her life. One more time outside, to feel the sun on her face and watch the big, black crows soar through the air. A spoon of butter pecan ice cream, her favorite treat. A sip of black coffee, her favorite beverage. An extra hug, another kiss on the cheek, holding her hand a little longer.
It may take a village to raise a child, but you may discover a ghost town when it comes to the dying." - Joy Johnston, Jul 20, 2015
In her essay, author Joy Johnston lays out two very different experiences of the end of life for her father and her mother.
She shares the experience of having her mother die at home and becoming her primary caregiver.
The above concluding paragraph of her essay is a call for each of us to do better, in asking for and giving help, in how we care for one another.
Thank you for being a part of the community of Holding Space.
We seek to be the village that shows up, not the ghost town.
Nanking Cherry blossoms hint at the coming Spring, while two of our chickens enjoy some sunshine in the back yard.
Our next community potluck is Wednesday, March 20th, from 6-9pm at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue, Asheville. Bring a dish, a guest, but please leave pets at home. Join a mix of neighbors, friends, and people interested in or involved with end of life work, and colleagues, as we share a meal and form and strengthen connections.
Update: This month, we have met a lovely couple who need the support that Holding Space was envisioned to provide. One is faced with a recent diagnosis of a terminal illness. They are moving into the house shortly, perhaps this week. With your love and support, we know that we can show up for them and one another.
Food for thought:
Is there a "best" place to die? Canadian Virtual Hospice explores issues worth considering. With careful and flexible planning and help from the community, Holding Space explores what is possible. "Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination." - BJ Miller, formerly of Zen Hospice Project
Gabriel and Erik practice using a lift in the sun room.
Trish Rux held the first meeting of The Commons earlier this month in the upstairs gathering space. We look forward to collaborating with members of this energetic group of end of life doulas from the local area.
Do you want to be a Founding Board Member of Holding Space?
experience starting a nonprofit
expertise in nonprofit law or finance
come from underrepresented communities
The Founding Board will
establish policies and framework
elect the next board
In the next few months, we hope to incorporate and submit paperwork for our 501(c)(3) organization. Reach out to Gabriel at email@example.com