Calm Before The Storm

This afternoon I had my inaugural visit to a hospice, when I dropping in on a close family member. Obviously, like anyone of sound mind, these end of life care facilities aren’t residences I’ve ever had the remotest desire to visit; either as a patient or visitor.

It is taken as read that these establishments will exude calm for it’s stricken patients and desolate families. After all these domains are ordinarily a metaphorical departure lounge for love ones. Calming environments that bequeath sorrowful families and friends time to inform a soon to depart clan member how much they’d enhanced their existences.

No words can ease the pain of witnessing a love one’s life ebbing away. However, it’s re-assuring to see the care bestowed by these palliative care nurses; treatment that gives some comfort that a loved one’s care pre-passing was of the highest quality available.

Our moribund family member slept through most of my visit. Complaining of extreme exhaustion, they couldn’t even manage to drink any of the bottle of red wine the brood had brought him. An Australian merlot they’d been coveting for over two weeks.

Hopefully they’ll be able to partake in a glass of vino tomorrow, along with regaining some of his lucidity to allow a degree of appreciation for the CD’s we’re taking in for him; favourites from his eclectic music collection.

As I alluded to earlier, this late stage of a moribund loved one’s existence is something that has thus far been alien to me. Incidentally, when I say alien I don’t mean the type akin to the extra-terrestrial who gained liberty from John Hurt’s stomach in Ridley Scott’s 1979 eponymous movie. I’m referring to unchartered waters, inaugural experiences, stuff I’ve not dealt with previously.

That being said, such is the knot in my stomach as a consequence of our current family circumstances, it does feel as though an alien has burst through it similar to the scene from Ridley Scott’s movie, of which I allude above.

As an immature teenager, prior to understanding what a hospice was, the word always made me think of equine urine, as in hoss piss.  This wasn’t meant to be disrespectful to a much needed patient facility and its staff who provide such sterling end of life care. It was merely an early example of my constant manipulating of words for a giggle….. You could say there wasn’t any intent to be discourteous, I was only taking the hoss piss.

I’m bringing this blog to a conclusion so I can sort out a bunch of CD’s to take for the family member at the hospice. Hopefully, while we listen to Sinatra croon, we’ll both be able to raise a glass of merlot in his honour….. Then shut our eyes and regress back to the many occasions we’ve sat listening to Frank and enjoying a glass of red during much happier times.

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