Girls Write Out
Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Since my last post, my dear father-in-law went home to glory. It was a peaceful passing since we took him home with hospice. The funeral was yesterday. I don't know how many of you have any experience with hospice, but they are WONDERFUL! We took my grandpa home to die when he had cancer so when Dad was so sick, I immediately started pushing to do that. Not all the family was onboard with it at first. They didn't understand how easy it is. They thought it was a lot of care but it's not. We had them put up the bed in the living room, and we were all able to sit comfortably on the sofa and chairs. We talked about old times, held his hand, kissed him and told him we loved him. The place overflowed with family and love.

I slept on the sofa the first night then on an airbed the next night since the sofa was so uncomfortable. I got up every hour or so to check on him. I gave him some meds that absorbed through his mouth twice and wet his mouth and lips with a sponge made for that purpose. i sang hymns over and over during those two days and nights. That was it. There is no real care when a person is unconscious and dying. You just love them home to glory. It's a wonderful and bittersweet passing. The hospice nurse comes to check on the patient and can do any bathing or anything else that needs doing. In Dad's case, it was happening too fast and nothing else was needed. The nurses are so caring and sweet. We just loved them. When he was gone at 1:40 am on Thursday, I got Mom and my sister-in-law up then called Dave and his brother before calling hospice. The nurse came right away. She washed and dressed him before the funeral home came. She was so sweet to Mom and all of us.

The viewing was Sunday and Diann and Denise came with their husbands. I realized after introducing them to half a dozen people that I wasn't mentioning their husbands! LOL Poor guys were treated as chauffeurs! They were such an encouragement to me though, all four of them. And funerals are wonderful places to catch up with family you haven't seen in a while. I got to show off my little angel. She showed up in the cutest little red and black dress with a matching beret. I wish I'd gotten a picture to show you. Darling!

Have any of the rest of you had an experience with hospice? If you have any questions about it, just ask too.


Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:12 AM  
  Comments (14)
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At 12:14 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Hospice is incredible. It's something I want to do when I get older and have free time when my kids are gone. It's so nice to have someone there to do the necessary things when the family is grieving. I still remember how my aunt's hospice worker was so calm and collected, calling the right people while we grieved. IT truly is a blessing.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Carla said...

We had hospice care for my mom and it really was great. The hospice workers and volunteers are truly wonderful people. We were amazed with them.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

My Grampa had hospice care through his cancer and it was the best experience for the family under those circumstances. They are wonderful people!!

Still praying for you and your family, Colleen ...

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Cathy Shouse said...

We've had so many people in our family die in the last year and a half. The circumstances were all different. Knowing you were going through this has kept you in my thoughts.

Colleen, you are a special kind of person to care for your father-in-law so tenderly and continually in his final days. I'm glad hospice was able to help and hugs to you for seeing him into heaven. Your attitude of service is what truly made it possible.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Sue said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

My mom passed away 5 years in the hospital, but the careworkers there were fabulous as well. It was such a holy moment watching her prepare to "go home". A moment that is treasured in my heart.

May God's peace and comfort pour over each of you as you miss your father-in-law.

How is your mother-in-law doing?

At 6:02 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

When my dad was dying of cancer, he was in hospice care as well. A very good experience for all. My prayers are with you and your family, Colleen.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

My first experience with hospice was when my fil died many years ago. They were fairly new then, and not as common as now. That was in 1985.

My second experience was with my dil, who died in 2001 of cancer at the tender age of 30. She was taken to a hospice facility, but they made it as close to a home as possible. We could stay the night with her and they encouraged as much fmaily as possible.

When my mother got close, hospice came to their home. They were wonderful to her and for Daddy. We had them for him when his time came jsut a few months later.

I can't sing their praises enough.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

K, I think you have to be a nurse to do the hospice thing. At least all these gals were nurses. They sometimes have to administer meds and things.

Sue, my mother-in-law is doing surprisingly well. She's stronger than she looks!

I'm glad the rest of you have had some experience with hospice. They are SOOO wonderful!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I'm writing this through a sheen of tears. Your post brought back bittersweet memories. We lost my step-father to lung cancer 11 years ago. During his final days at the ripe old age of 52, my mother had Hospice come in. They were fantastic!!! Not only during John's last days, but they followed up with my mother. I know my step-father is dancing on the streets of Glory now, and I'll see him again someday.

My sympathies to you and your family, C. In the days ahead, after things settle down, your MIL may need more attention. My mom said the hardest part for her was when everyone went on with their lives and hers had been crushed. Praying for all of you!

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Beverly said...


I love the concept of Hospice, and though I have lost both my parents to cancer, neither of them had Hospice involved. But everything I have heard and observed from friend have been positive experiences, like the ones noted here.

I am sorry for your loss, so grateful for your hope. I also pray your Mother-in-law's journey in these nexts months and years will be one in which she feels the hope of heaven, the strength of God, and the ongoing support of close friends and family.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Becky said...

Hospice was a godsend during my step-dad's last days. We had them both in a special hospital room and at our home. We have good memories of those last days with Dad.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Leticia said...

Colleen I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Hospice. Two of my closest friends had Hospice help them with their parents.

I think it is wonderful how they set up the patient in their homes and allow them to live the rest of their lives in peace and around their loved ones.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Nan W said...

Our family's experience with hospice was also a good one. Just this past Friday, my dad went home to Glory. He wouldn't have been able to spend his last days at home if it hadn't been for the wonderful nurses and caregivers that came to assist with Dad's care.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh I'm so sorry, Nan! It's hard to lose them but how great that we know where they are!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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