20 December 2010

Hospice Holiday To Do Lists

Hospice is my charity of choice. Oh, I am sometimes a paid up member of Royal NZ Forest & Bird, but I always put my money on hospice. They did an excellent job helping my brother and me care for our mother when she was dying of cancer. Every family should have such support.

So, when the local hospice letters come in the mail, I read them. The latest has a Christmas To Do List. The list includes the normal things you'd expect, but might want to write down so you don't forget:

  1. Post overseas Christmas cards & gifts.
  2. Purchase remaining gifts for family & friends.
  3. Check out Hospice's Gifts for Good for gift ideas.
  4. Order Christmas turkey or ham.
  5. Get table decor ready.
  6. ...
Then the list goes on to specialised list of considerations by those who are ill:
  1. What if I don't last until Christmas?
  2. Should we celebrate Christmas early?
  3. How will young children react when they see my current state?
  4. Will my illness spoil Christmas for everyone else?
  5. Will I be up to visits from friends & relatives?
  6. Do we even want to celebrate Christmas?
  7. How are the family going to cope?
  8. What will Christmas be like next year when I am gone?
Hospice has it's own list of To Do's for themselves:
  1. Remind our patients and families that Hospice is available right through the Christmas period.
  2. Ensure families know that we will be here to answer any concerns they have 24/7.
  3. Check we have special treats available for all, especially the children.
No time is a good time to be ill, but it's especially hard when everyone else is getting on with celebrations and you find little to celebrate. It's hard when you don't have energy to brush your hair, let alone hang your Christmas cards or decorations up.

So, for those of you who are unwell, I have a list for you:
  1. Set your boundaries and do as much as you can enjoy.
  2. Hang on to your hope, whether for yourself or those who follow you.
  3. Count your blessings and find something to celebrate.
  4. Do something that refreshes your soul, whether it is to scratch a dog's head, listen to music, look at art or water a plant.
  5. Look both ways before crossing the street. Not all our 'ends' are announced by doctors.
  6. ...
For those of us who are well:
  1. Remember to open doors for those who are struggling or look frail.
  2. Be generous with the car parks/parking places nearer to the door.
  3. Be grateful most of your parts work and you can plan for next year.
  4. Watch out for buses. None of us know how long we have to live.
  5. Tell loved ones how we feel about them and affirm them in the things that matter.
  6. Don't save the good dishes or special napkins. Use them.
  7. Sensitively affirm or acknowledge to those who are not joyful this year.
  8. Stop whining. There's really not much worth whining about, really.
  9. ... add your own in comments below

1 comment:

Woven and Spun said...

Timely posts Jill. Luke's mum died Sunday.
Sad but glad she's with Jesus.