‘See you on the other side’, I said cheerfully as the interns began wheeling me away for surgery… Of course, I meant post surgery, but my family was abit taken back. They superstitiously didn’t want me to ‘jinx’ anything!
But honestly, I didn’t worry or feel concerned either way. I was – and am – planning to see them on the other side.
This new year has brought this reality home again. A sweet friend has been spending her days in a hospice – and we have been talking about ‘that other side’. And today, when I heard she had slipped away, there was a bit of sadness – for her family, but a sweet happiness too! Thinking of her skipping on streets of gold, seeing her Saviour, her faith made sight!
I tried to get to her bedside as often as I could, and even as I went, it was hard to go. What to say? How to act?
How do you prepare for visits to the bedside of a loved one?
I’m not an expert, but here are a few thoughts. as you go, No Preconceived Ideas. Its not about ‘me’, trying to figure out how I am going to handle this. Its really about ‘You’ – the patient.
How can I serve you? Do you want to talk? do you want to reminisce? Do you want to laugh or cry?
What will Help? Be perceptive. Look around. Are there immediate needs, of the sick one or their family?
Food – either a gift card, cash for the cafeteria, or an arranged time to deliver a meal.
Cash for parking expenses.
Childcare for little ones in the family – a walk around the building/grounds, or trip to the park.
Lip balm, lotion – unscented.
If there are many people coming and going, probably best to keep it short. Many times, the patient feels they are hosting- but are tired or hurting, but don’t want to be rude.They may just want to rest, but feel obligated because you have come.
If their days are spent alone, sometimes sitting for longer periods of time, even in quiet is perfect. I try to have several passages of scripture in mind, ready to read. or a song or two to play on my ipad (or even sing). And always prayer with the patient, as well as each family member. They love that you remember their family at this time – that is who they are concerned for too.
If you have a close enough relationship, AND they want, I have found a light hand or foot massage is welcome. A bit of lotion warmed in your hand, and a gentle stroking can be relaxing to one who is bed ridden.
Would love if you had any comments or suggestions!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
your friend, Lynn