My Hospice Experience
By Jane Wilkins
Walking through the doorway of Dove House is the highlight of my week. What I once considered to be a place of solace and end of life care, or a place that would encourage ‘dying well’, now for me has become a place of encouragement to live well, a place of healing, a place to develop well-being.
My ritual is to sit down to a cup of tea after my drive over – this is the best cup of tea of the week. I have time to brew it in a pot, let it draw and savour every mouthful. You see, I do not need to hurry and I no longer worry – I simply sit and enjoy one of my life’s pleasures – a good cup of tea, along with a morsel from the kitchen such as a club sandwich, a piece of divine date loaf, or those all too yummy scones – all made with love from the angels that give up their time to make life special for those of us who may need a little extra care, nurturing and nourishment. What a treat!
It’s now time for me to go through to the therapy rooms. Walking along the corridor I breathe deeply and naturally relax – I know that whatever happens today, I will leave with some extra wisdom on board and my heart will be filled with the love and tenderness shown by my practitioner. Each and every one of the therapists I have had the privilege of working with has enhanced my day in some way and I am always grateful for what I learn here. I do not wish to exclude anyone, but I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks for two therapists in particular.
The first is Aaron. I tell him a little piece of my story and instantly the rapport is one of ease and deep understanding. Aaron explains concepts and ideas to me around health and healing. The way he relays information always connects or resonates with me, the “a-ha” moments constantly – like I have heard it all before. What I realise is he is able to tap into my inner wisdom and help me to feel more comfortable with those parts of me that I have denied, or I have been too frightened to listen to, or have been taken away from me when I am in fear, especially when dealing with conventional systems. Regardless of what I present with on any given day, Aaron has whatever I need, whether it be acupuncture needles ( which he uses at each session) for chronic gut health problems or EFT for a distressing burning rash under my arm, or an intuitive imagery/visualisation exercise for nausea. Whatever I am dealing with I leave with a sense of peace, dignity and empowerment.
The other practitioner is Meg. Generous with her knowledge and wisdom, Meg can interpret how I’m feeling before I offer her any insights. She is one of the most calming influences with real advice. She is empathetic and at the same time encourages strength and hope. She is beautiful and elegant and I love being in her company.
I understand that when we are open to possibilities we will be lead to what we need. I realise that at this point in my life I need the support and care that Dove House can offer me. I no longer have fear around what I might feel or see there – this place is a gift to those who are willing to accept this help and care to enhance life, to assist the struggle, to share the burden and the pain so that we can live our lives, however long they may be, as well as possible. I don’t go there to learn how to die; I go there to learn how to continue to live until my final breath.
Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at Dove House!
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