I had lunch today with Mona Hanford, who shared her vision for helping people navigate to the end of life, based on her own experience as a caregiver for her husband.
Our conversation led us to the observation that caregivers often feel like they have to keep fighting on behalf of their loved one. If they could just type in the right search terms, the answer will pop up. If they could just send up the right prayer, a cure could be found. But we know that isn’t possible. Sometimes the best path is via the Serenity Prayer, to accept the things we cannot change, including death.
There is a time for searching and there is a time for being at rest. A good reminder as I put the finishing touches on a report about how caregivers use the internet!
Image: My dad and I holding hands on what turned out to be his last day.
Istvan Camargo says
Susannah Fox says
Thank you. With this encouragement, I’ll share the poem that Mona sent to me after we both returned to work:
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was,
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a neglible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near just around the corner:
All is well.
Canon Henry Scott Holland
Istvan Camargo says
This poem sounds like a gentle breeze that enters our ear and gently warms our chest. I’ll take it with me through the life. Thanks for that, Susannah!