For our series called Stories at Sunset, that is the request Hospice of Michigan made of hospice nurses, social workers and volunteers. It’s the request we made of people who have lost a loved one. It’s what we said to hospice doctors who can be the bridge between a person writhing in pain and the same person enjoying coffee with a friend – at peace.
“Tell us a story,” we said to hospice aides who visit the homes of people who are in the sunset of their lives, who bathe them, read to them, tend to their nails, and change them into clean and comfortable clothes. Small moments, forgotten memories, the story that is most central to a person’s life. We wanted to hear them all. In our series, Stories at Sunset, we share the stories we’ve heard from the bedside from doctors, nurses, husbands and wives, daughters and sons. As the sun was setting, they were there.
"When my mom was dying of cancer, she didn’t want to go to the hospital anymore. I called Hospice of Michigan to help us. My sister was scared. WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF HER? I answered simply, we are."
"One of the things we did to cope was to look for "Sprinkles from Heaven." Once we started looking, we got at least one sprinkle everyday - a call from one of our children, a visit from a friend a bright red cardinal on a tree outside their window, a kiss."
"Every evening my Dad, my sisters and I carried folding chairs into my Mom's room, and talked. When we look back, it's one of the things we feel best about."