Saturday, May 19, 2018

How Long Does It Take To Forget Someone? | Cognoscenti

"After all these years, I still catch a whiff of my mother’s perfume (Clinique’s Elixir, rich with rose, jasmine and ylang ylang) in an oversized red cotton sweater of hers that I put on when it’s cold and rainy. She is there inside the gold beaded purse that I take to special events. The lining, a ripped silvery-gray silk, contains the subtlest hint of her. I inhale it like a junkie sniffing up the last bits of cocaine dust. And, of course, she is there in my daughters, in ways flattering and not. Her propensity for anxiety permeates us all. Her deep belly laugh is often present in my youngest, her poise in my oldest. I search through boxes of old photos. Is that her, smoking cigarettes and playing Rummikub with “the ladies” at the club? Is that her in bed, two twins lined up to give the appearance of a king, watching tennis on TV on a Sunday afternoon, while my father snores beside her? Or, is the real Nancy Levy Gunst the one singing along with the soundtrack of the great musicals of her youth?"

How Long Does It Take To Forget Someone? | Cognoscenti

Friday, May 11, 2018

I am a Hospice Nurse | Moments of Life

"As a hospice nurse, I can tell you about death coming in threes- 3, 6, 9, or none for a while. I can tell you about the power of music -- and human touch -- at deathbeds. Sometimes I will organize "last wishes" -- major or minor requests of patients who have only days, or hours, to live. Sometimes they want to get back together with a loved one---ask for forgiveness, say goodbye. Sometimes it's to confess something terrible they've done in their lives."

I am a Hospice Nurse | Moments of Life

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Happens at a Jewish Funeral? - Rabbi Moffic

Rabbi Evan Moffic explains the elements of a Jewish funeral and how each helps to provide support and comfort for the mourners.

"Funerals can be painful. But they can also bring us comfort and guidance. A Jewish funeral has one core purpose: to comfort the bereaved....Quite often family members tell me they are going to try hard to “hold it together” during the funeral service. They do not want to draw attention to themselves. But I always tell them we are supposed to feel. We are supposed to experience deep emotions. We all grieve in our own way, but a Jewish funeral service gives a time and place to acknowledge our real feelings. We do not have to be embarrassed to feel and express our pain."


What Happens at a Jewish Funeral? - Rabbi Moffic

Eight Funny Books About Grieving – Electric Literature

 "Grief isn’t funny. Or is it? Big, difficult life events like the death of someone we love make us realize how much we can’t control. But finding the darkly funny moments in the midst of tragedy seems to help us weather tough times. Purchase the novel In my experience, the state of heightened sensitivity that comes with loss can actually make us more aware of what’s funny and absurd about life. And that’s a good thing: by not losing our ability to laugh, we’re retaining a defining element of our humanity."

Eight Funny Books About Grieving – Electric Literature

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

For someone with dementia, getting hospice coverage isn't easy - The Washington Post

"My mom’s death was perfect, and hospice helped. But her dementia made enrolling her and keeping her in hospice nearly impossible. She died during her second stint in hospice. The year she died, I had reached out to a hospice and palliative-care agency because my mom seemed to be heading downhill fast...The Medicare reimbursement schedule is tied to predicting when a person is within six months of death. People can linger in late-stage dementia for years. There are no scans, blood tests or other scientific ways to predict when a person with dementia will die. Making matters worse, in 2013 Medicare removed “failure to thrive” — one of the hallmarks of late-stage dementia and what some physicians call frailty — and debility as primary diagnoses for hospice entry. But people with dementia decline over years and years, and frailty is part of that decline...People don’t access hospice until the very end of life. Fifty percent have hospice care for fewer than 18 days, and 35 percent have a length of stay of seven days or less. “That’s really frustrating,” said Judi Lund Person, a vice president at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "

For someone with dementia, getting hospice coverage isn't easy - The Washington Post

When someone is dying, threshold choir provides the comfort of song - The Washington Post

The Threshold singers visit those who are dying to share music.  It brings comfort to the dying and their families and to the singers as well.

"When her parents were dying in the 1980s, [Leslie] Kostrich says, no one acknowledged they were close to death, which didn’t allow her and her family to come to terms with the losses themselves. The Threshold Choir has both helped her in a small way alleviate her own loss and help others avoid that kind of pain, she says....One of the singers, Lily Chang, 28, notes that the choir is helping her confront her own fears of loss.


Chang says she’s very close to her grandmother and, given her age, worries about her. “I remember telling my mom, ‘I don’t know what I would do’ ” if she died. “Thinking about it, engaging with it in different ways makes me feel better.”



When someone is dying, threshold choir provides the comfort of song - The Washington Post