More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hospice and Dying at Home

The concept of hospice began in England as a place where people could go to be comforted while dying from an illness. The origin of the word “hospice” in medieval times meant “way station for weary travelers.” The word retains its original meaning when viewed from the standpoint that we are all sojourners on this planet. Today, hospices are state-regulated and only accept patients who have less than six months to live. It is a philosophy of care that may be provided in the patient’s home or in a hospice facility.

For many years people viewed death as a normal part of existence, and it was not uncommon for people to die at home. In fact, the whole process of caring for the loved one before, during and after death was something families did at home. It wasn’t until the past 50 or so years that it became common for people to die in hospitals and hospices, and for funeral homes to provide after-death care for the body.

Our views of death may have changed, but one thing remains certain: we all need and want genuine, unconditional love. It touches and heals our soul, strengthens our spirit and enriches our lives. Birth and death, (entrance and exit from Earth), are two events where unconditional love is especially important. If you knew you only had a few weeks to live what conditions would you want around you? Would you prefer to be at home in familiar surroundings, or in a hospital or hospice center with access to medical professionals and trained volunteers to comfort you while you wait for your departure? Would you want your pastor or a member from your church to be with you as you make your exit? I would rather have a friend or family member with me, but perhaps you would prefer to die alone.

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