Sunday, January 21, 2007

What’s with the title?

One of the reasons it took me so long to start a blog (beyond my usual ability to procrastinate like no one’s business) is that I was having a hard time coming up with a name. I didn’t want it to be too cutesy, but I also didn’t want it to be too boring, and I wanted it to say something about who I am and what is important to me. I wanted something that made the nursing and hospice connection.

So, an explanation: Dame Cicely Saunders is commonly considered the “mother of modern hospice.” She has a long and fascinating history, more of which you can read about in many places including here. One of the seminal stories about Saunders his how she was inspired to start a hospice after meeting a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto David Tasma, who she cared for as he was dying of cancer, in loneliness and anguish. He bequeathed her 500 pounds and said he’d “be a window in your home.” Her conversations with him, and her determination to relieve his pain – not just physical but emotional and psychic was the impetus to her working to create the modern hospice movement.

So I liked the story, and it make a title that was both apt and a bit cryptic. But more than that, I think it reflects one of the most amazing parts of what it means to be with people when they are dying—it is such an intimate time, such an honor to be allowed into someone’s life. And ultimately, the gifts you get from being a witness to this last chapter of their life is beyond measure.

1 comment:

The Angry Medic said...

Wow. I knew the title meant something significant, but you tying it into your life like that made it even more real. I look forward to your posts (hopefully you can get over your procrastination - though as the laziest medic in my Uni I can hardly talk).

I've added you to my blogroll. Hope you don't mind the heading I've given you :)