Why I Do This Work.

Why I am a Hospice RN

I am repeatedly asked, “How can you do this work? You are around dying people all day. It’s so sad! Don’t you get depressed?” I was also recently asked how my work as a hospice nurse has changed me. Here is why I do this work and how I have evolved in the process:
I am a better person for spending time with the dying. I am gifted with endless reminders of the value of selflessness and unconditional love. My faith in human connection is constantly renewed. This profession helps me be more of the person I want to be. All of my patients have been told they have six months or less to live. Along with that news comes a whirlwind of opportunities for me to help them live while they are alive. In return, I have learned how to be more present and live and love more fully.
Hospice patients and families have offered me an eye opening look at the purpose of life. I share this awakening with as many people as I possibly can, because our purpose can be easy to understand and implement. We don’t have to set out to change the world to find purpose and meaning in our lives.

I have learned how to develop swift deep connection and trust with complete strangers through simple touch, laughter, and storytelling.I have witnessed and wholeheartedly learned that healing is absolutely possible while dying. I am an instrument in helping people (and ultimately myself) return to wholeness and self acceptance. I have learned, by coaching others, to unconditionally give and receive love and forgiveness.I find a great sense of accomplishment and meaning in being an advocate for patients and families without a voice and for those who perceive themselves voiceless. Helping people have as much control as possible at the end of life helps me appreciate how many choices I have in my life.I appreciate my tools of compassionate education, presence, listening, and medicine to help make the dying process less physically and emotionally painful for the patient and families, bringing more peace of heart and mind to everyone involved. Through this work I have clearly defined this as my unwavering purpose. My children are witnessing my evolution and I see them offering compassionate presence to their environments.

Hospice work is what I am meant to do; I am good at making people feel comfortable, I have been told I have a calming presence in difficult moments, which diffuses emotionally charged environments. I have perfected these skills through hospice work and brought them into my daily life.

My experiences in hospice have helped me cope with difficult times in my life and have taught me to cherish precious time spent with my loved ones, and my limited time here on earth. I get daily wake up calls to the temporary nature of life.

I am constantly amazed by what physical and emotional tragedies people have gone through or are enduring. Their experiences humble me to my knees on a regular basis. Everybody wants to be loved, not everyone is. I can easily bring some love into the lives of these people who need it most.

I am honored to be called into a most sacred and vulnerable time in peoples lives. I find joy in participating in deeply meaningful conversations with the dying and sharing with others the grand wisdom I am gifted.

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To learn more about hospice portraits, my new book, or my speaking availability, please visit:

www.marylandberg.com

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