This week is National Hospice Week and there will be lots of events around the country highlighting the work of hospices and raising funds. I’m a bit disappointed in the Bristol area to find nothing on this on the internet so maybe next year I will get involved and help to make something happen. I know that its easy to sit around and criticise others for not doing stuff without actually doing something yourself! And, in fairness, St Peter’s Hospice maintains a year round high profile.
So what does the word hospice mean to you? For some it can mean accepting that you are at the end of your life. Or even that you are dying. But I was pleasantly surprised to read the words of 35 year old Lisa Emery who says the opposite. For her the word hospice means “living”. She says:
“I’ve been living since I got here”
Every day she gets up and brushes her teeth and washes her face. In other words living a normal life as much as she can and not pre-empting death by giving up and not bothering with the small stuff. After all the small stuff is what forms most of our lives. As Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement says:
“to live until you die”.
So what would your perfect hospice look like? Mine would have an open fire, lots of dogs, my own big screen tv with unlimited boxsets, piles of Cadburys chocolate (none of that posh stuff) and a soft bed with lots of cushions. I’d be able to eat what I want, when I want. And there’d be a light atmosphere with humour and laughter. These things would help to tether me in the here and now rather than focus entirely on the future and whats lurking there, waiting for me. In fact a lot like this Dublin hospice: