Participating in the Holisticare Hospice program this year has been a wonderful experience. I have never been part of a community devoted to the art of dying and death and it has given me a new perspective on how the dying are cared for not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. My preconceptions about … Continue reading “Discoveries”

A Work in Progress

I am not unfamiliar with death. It stole, into my house and my life, when I was just six years old, with my mother’s passing from ovarian cancer. I can recall that day clearly–it was summer, the sky was unfairly blue, and light shown into the bedroom where once she lay in darkness, tubes in … Continue reading “A Work in Progress”

Hospice Strengths and Weaknesses

There are a lot of things that people do that are controversial. Go to wars, debate about the choice a woman should have about her body, sending a family member to hospice. I know that sometimes there (at hospice) it would be really hard to maintain a safe environment that has the appropriate care that … Continue reading “Hospice Strengths and Weaknesses”

A Glimpse into The Unknown

I applied to the hospice program in the hopes that I would gain a better understanding into the world of death and dying. Interestingly enough, I have actually learned another valuable lesson. I have learned how to ignore the stereotypes surrounding those who may look ill from the outside, and instead focus on their soul … Continue reading “A Glimpse into The Unknown”

Reflections on hospice and mundanity

To prepare for hospice I read essays and listened to interviews that reflected the intensity and gravity I expected from the experience. I watched documentaries from the perspective of hospice physicians and patients grappling with the heartbreaking decision to withdraw treatment. I imagined myself at the heart of these trying conversations and prepared myself for … Continue reading “Reflections on hospice and mundanity”

Definition of time

Dr. Lucy Kalanithi said, “We’re at this weird point in history where we have all this technology and the impulse is to keep using it, even if it’s at times creating more suffering” (Prompt). As a future surgeon, I truly believed, and still do believe, that innovation and technology progresses the world we live in … Continue reading “Definition of time”

Accepted Deaths

My experiences in hospice care can be characterized as challenging and rewarding. Although I have been in Ascend Hospice for a short few months, I have created deep relationships with a patient and observed others pass on. Before entering the field, my presumption of hospice ominous. Recognizing an individual is approaching death and still familiarizing … Continue reading “Accepted Deaths”

The Importance of Listening

As a pre medical student over the past four years at the University of Pittsburgh, I have gone through bouts of uncertainty as to if I should pursue a career in the medical field. I have always enjoyed science courses and discovering how things work, however, I was worried about whether the sacrifices would be … Continue reading “The Importance of Listening”

She is queen!

“She is queen!” exclaimed a staff member of Sunrise of Westtown. My patient sends a large, beautiful grin to her and claps as I play “Got To Get You Into My Life” on the violin. It’s as if we are not in a bedroom of a hospice facility, waiting for the Sunday dinner call. No, … Continue reading “She is queen!”

Death and I: Understanding Death and the process of Dying through the Hospice System

I am friends with Death. Perhaps, “friends” is not the correct word, rather I am an acquaintance of the faceless, omnipotent entity whose presence we are constantly reminded of in our lives. Whether in watching an ant clinging onto its last moments after being squashed or listening to news of a tragic bombing that news … Continue reading “Death and I: Understanding Death and the process of Dying through the Hospice System”