With weakness in her voice and barely enough strength to speak, my mom: Jane, asked to be taken to Hospice Wellington on April 19, 2019.

What I immediately saw in my mind, was life's windows being closed. Only darkness.

To me, her request meant no medical interventions, no more biopsies and tests and that her severe pain and discomfort had reached a threshold. Most of all, mom's request meant "the end".

What soon became evident during mom's next 30 days as a resident of Hospice Wellington was that those windows that I thought had closed for good, slowly began to open again. It was clear that mom's first few days of one-to-one palliative support by the staff at Hospice, meant that her symptoms and her pain were being managed and supported so regularly that her sense of well-being began to increase each day.

Her beautiful room with large windows and state of the art equipment, along with outstanding care by Hospice staff and volunteers and knowing that her family was with her daily, all created "the Hospice Gift" that I now call mom's 30-day end of life journey.

Her 30 days at Hospice Wellington was, in fact, a gift of life. It meant that my family was able to spend quality time with mom.

Her two grandchildren had time to see their grandma and tell her everything they wanted to say to her. We were able to take several family photos together. Mom received massage and therapeutic touch treatments and was visited by the Hospice therapy dogs. She was also visited by all of her friends on a daily basis.

I was given the gift of additional time to say good-bye to my mom in a relaxed calm manner, knowing that I no longer needed to be stressed about being her caregiver, because my trust was now in the hands of extremely knowledgeable staff at Hospice Wellington.

Hospice gave my family and I the gift of time with my mom while her pain was being controlled.

Mom's own words to me were that she felt happy and lucky to be at Hospice Wellington to complete her life journey there. She was very much at peace there.

With the windows of mom's personal situation back open, I too was able to fully understand and conclude that here will never be any doubt in my mind that mom's decision on April 19th was in fact, the right decision.

I thank Hospice Wellington for giving the gift of time to spend one month with mom, surrounded by family, friends and Hospice staff in such a calm and caring environment.

In memory of mom. My best friend, My rock.
Mimi Van Haeren
June 2019