I’ve always associated Hospice with death and nurses that help people and families with death. I didn’t know they did much more than provide medical care for people in their homes. This week I had the opportunity to learn they do so much more. I wish I’d known earlier what wonderful things they do to support the community within which they work. Two wonderful ladies from Hospice of Central Ohio came out today to meet with staff members who wanted to get together to talk about how to best support our friend and colleague while her child is so gravely ill. They brought books, resources, and wonderful listening ears. They shared a little about their programs and services. Just having their reassuring presence in the building helped people feel a little bit better about not saying the wrong to our friend. Hopsice leads support groups, one on one counseling, community outreach programs, children programming. I wish I had known about them my first year of teaching when I had a child whose terminally ill father died and then had an uncle die in a car accident a few weeks later. I had never felt so inadequate to help. I think if I’d had their resources, workshops, and support, I would have been a much better teacher. They recommended a beautiful book called Tear Soup
by Pat Schweibert. Not even Ebenezer will be able to get through this book with a dry eye. It talks about sorrow and grief from the smallest up through “more than you can bear” and also explores how people all express sorrow differently. This would be a good book for families with or without children and also a good book for those who try to support the people doing the grieving. I need to get a copy to be able to read more slowly and thoughtfully and also to share with my own children.