Embrace Living

Denise Stancill, Director of Business Development, Hospice of Holland Inc.

Every so often, and more recently during this time of COVID 19, I am reminded of the saying, “Life is not a dress rehearsal”. The saying brings to light the fact that our time here on earth is limited. Therefore, we as human beings are encouraged to spend each day making every second count. Since there are no “do-overs”, the goal is to live life to the fullest and spend time doing the things we enjoy; advice that these days feels sometimes easier said than done.

During these challenging times, much like at end-of-life, there is a real anxious feeling that exists as we all maneuver through unchartered territory, adjust to change, and redefine our definition of hope. To embrace living, especially during difficult times, requires, on some level, a willingness to accept all that life has to offer, including all its complexities.

Have you ever been around one of those individuals who fully embraces every moment of every day and somehow manages to make the most of it regardless of their circumstances? I feel privileged to have encountered more than one. Often, I find they have a quality about them that makes them not only interesting to be around, but also inspiring. It is hard not to notice that as they continue in their pursuit of savoring each moment, they not only find opportunities to embrace life they create them. In so doing, they often appear to be more at peace overall with whatever comes their way.
Acceptance and learning how to embrace living whether it is in general, during difficult times, or at end-of-life is for many no small task. Often it is through the journey of acceptance that one begins to realize how precious life really is. This realization can help foster a time to re-evaluate priorities, take inventory of goals that have been met (or not), and provide an opportunity to refocus simply on what matters.

At end of life, hospice providers exist to assist those who are terminally ill and who are in need of support. Caregivers help patients and their loved ones live each day to its fullest and help them carry out their end-of-life wishes as they face their final days. Understanding what makes people want to live is at the heart of delivering hospice care and contributes toward our ability to help enable them to embrace life.

During these challenging times, it is important we find moments to rest, refresh, and renew where possible. In our house, a short walk outside, corny jokes from kids around the dinner table, and the occasional curbside turtle sundae have helped our family embrace living; even amidst these ever-challenging days.

For more information about Hospice of Holland programs and services, to make a referral, or for answers to your questions about hospice care please call 616.396.2972. View hollandhospice.org to learn and hear from others why care from Hospice of Holland made a difference for their loved one.