Jim and Gloria Meredith of East Jordan, who are resolutely facing Jim’s diagnosis of terminal bone cancer, recently shared their doubts and concerns in a Hospice newsletter. “Early on, I happened to mention to a nurse that I thought Hospice was a death curse,” Jim remembered. “Well, she turned out to be a Hospice nurse, and it was just the wrong thing, but really the best thing, I could have said to her, because right then was when my eyes were opened.”
The Meredith’s both admitted to more than one of the common misconceptions that label Hospice organizations and services. Gloria said, “I knew they did home visits and fundraisers, but that’s about it. Thinking about Hospice reminded me of that old book, ‘The Scarlet Letter’ in a way.” Jim then recalled, “I remember when I was a kid, when someone died or was dying, there would be a black wreath on their door. That describes the image of Hospice I had.” The Meredith’s misgivings have evolved into an appreciation for what Hospice has done for them throughout their journey.
“Hospice to me has really been an extension of my life and an improvement to the quality of our lives. Getting on Hospice is not the end. You’ve qualified for the best, not the worst that life has to offer,” Jim said.