How Long Till I Can Die? A 5-Year Journey in Hospice Caregiving

| March 12, 2015


Often the most profound lessons are experienced during the most vulnerable moments in life. From 2008 to 2013, my wife, Karen, and I served as hospice caregivers for our mothers, keeping both of them in our home for as long as the nursing agency felt it was safe and doable, and then caring for them daily at a facility near our home until their respective home-goings. To say with the adage, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is an understatement. It was a time marked by roller coaster highs and lows: unspeakable sadness, sorrow, disgust, and anger interspersed with moments of childlike wonder, simplicity, surprise, and unexpected laughter.

In this “grind time,” as we slowly watched the death process complete its marathon course, we experienced several gospel realities as we watched, cared, prayed, and nursed our mothers to glory.

Seeing Our Brokenness in Theirs

Caregiving is a road less traveled for many people. It shows the intensity of human brokenness in acute ways. As we watched the decrepit decline in our mothers’ mental and physical state, we were overcome with moments of sadness to see people who were once so vibrant now incapable of…


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