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  • Brigette

    Hi everybody,

     I am finding all of this information really helpful. I hope others are too.

    Claire what is the most common question you are asked in your role? 

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  • clairewretham

    Hi Brigette! A lot of the time people ask about what it is that I can do to help them or what my job actually is (which hopefully I have answered above!) People also often ask me about death and what it will be like, whether or not it will hurt and if I think there is anything beyond death. 

    Obviously the answers to these questions can be so specific and individual so I often ask people what is behind their question. If someone is asking about pain is it because this is of concern to them? Or have they watched someone else die in pain and so are keen to avoid that happening again? 

    A lot of the time I help people to prepare for death - just like the way a midwife helps a mother to prepare for a birth! There's lots of questions about the specifics, the pain, what happens next and the truth is every story and every journey is different... but discussing the possibilities can be endless helpful

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  • Brigette

    Thank you Claire that sounds really similar to what we get asked on the Support Line, many people tell us that talking out loud and being heard can really help them to process their thoughts and worries.

    It is really natural that people want to talk about what may happen to them. Do you have any hints or tips to help family members to facilitate these difficult conversations?

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  • clairewretham

    Tips to help family members to facilitate these difficult conversations? I think to answer your question Brigette the main question to be asking those you love is "What matters to you?" and to follow that up with questions like "What is important in this moment and what is going to matter over the coming weeks and months?" "Who is important? Who do you need to speak to or be visited by?" and of course as always just be really open minded and attentive to the answers to these questions! Your answers might not be the same as your spouses and thats okay ... 

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  • clairewretham

    Final Question and Answer from me which has also come in directly ... 

    Have you got any great stories from your hospice work? Of course! Spiritual needs show up all over the place. Sometimes my work is simple and involves helping people to plan their funerals or write their own eulogies. I also might call in the local Catholic priest for the patient who would like to receive the final sacrament. I have worked with the team to arrange for visits from all sort of different pets from cats and dogs to horses in the hospice garden! I’ve helped a mother write a letter to the child that she put up for adoption and has never seen again, asking for forgiveness and peace. She died just one day after writing that letter. One gentleman told me that he didn’t believe in anything really, but could I please make sure the window was opened in his room when he died, he wanted to make sure that his soul had somewhere to go and wasn’t stuck in the room. I made sure this was written into his care plan and informed the nurses who were overseeing his care.

    Thanks for having me Online Community! Hope to see you again soon!  

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