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As we begin this New Year of 2013, a feeling of hope hangs in the air, and the focus turns from what was to what shall and can be. The focus is optimism and vibrancy.

Such is the year-round philosophy of Peace Hospice. There is a focus on living with not dying with the patient’s terminal disease. That’s such an empowering perspective to have and lends to not only the patient’s improved quality of life but the caregiver’s as well.

As our mission statement frankly says (in part),

We provide hospice care not to hasten or postpone death, but to help every individual live as fully as possible.

Death is not denied but accepted, and life is affirmed and lived more fully as a result.”

Because we believe the most healthy approach to dealing with your loved one’s terminal diagnosis is to confront the truths it brings along with it, our nurses will — on an ongoing basis — educate you about disease progression, telling you how the disease is manifesting and will continue to manifest in your loved one’s physical body. Our hospice chaplains — as you are willing — will talk to both patient and caregiver about near-death awareness, anticipatory grief, or help you work through unresolved issues. In order to help you alleviate stress later, our social workers will assist you with end-of-life planning or help you schedule a respite.

These same hospice team members, and others, like the music therapist and the hospice aide, will also be your biggest cheerleaders.

They will celebrate with you when your patient is having a good day or you’ve together found a way to make the patient rest more comfortably or enjoy their food, or the patient’s mood and energy level improved enough they had a good visit and enjoyed engaging with family and friends.

We will celebrate their focus on living when they are spiritually at peace and ready to embrace the thought of their homegoing. We will celebrate when our hospice chaplain can help them reunite with their spiritual community and visit with the clergy of their choice, perhaps from the church they attended before illness prevented them from doing so.

We will celebrate when the healing gift of music transports them emotionally to a place where they are young again and thriving. We will celebrate when a family that is stressed and can’t connect or get along any other way can unite over a song during a music therapy session.

We will celebrate every smile, every clap, even every happy tear, as until their last breath, they are living with their disease not dying with their disease.

~ We wish you Peace.