Sunday, November 4, 2012
All In A Days Work
An unusual thing happened today. I visited a person because he wanted to talk about death, and about his anxiety as he faced his final days. You might think that such conversations are commonplace in my job at a hospice, but you would be wrong. His nurse called me this morning, apologizing about phoning me on a non-work day, to ask me to set up a visit. She laughed nervously, saying that she'd had no idea what to say to him, because she had never had a patient who wanted to talk about their fear of death before. We are skilled at talking around the subject, with patients who nervously look away, but no more skilled than our patients are at facing the truth.