Letting Go: A Hospice Journey
I find this film by the US Hospice on dying to be moving and educational.
Hospice offers palliative care to people in the last phase of an incurable disease so that they may live as fully and as comfortably as possible in the patients’ own home.
With today’s medical advances, hospice can manage and control the physical distress such that there is no pain and no vomiting. Physical suffering can be easily controlled.
The emotional and spiritual aspects have to addressed and supported. What the Hospice wants to convey is that the end of life is need not be horrible, although it is sad and poignant. The Hospice concentrates on these aspects in the whole film as they try to enable patients to die a good death.
The emotional and relational hurt, anger and bitterness can be reconciled and healed. Both the patients and their families can be freed from the prisons of their past mistakes by sincerely saying:
Please forgive me
I forgive you.
I love you
One aspect of the spiritual side was well covered by the patient Anna Turner and her family members and Church Pastor who prayed for healing. In particular, her teen-age son, who prayed regularly and expected God to heal her, was confused why God did not respond to their and his prayers. Although Anna has come to accept that if death was to be, it was OK for her, she courageously soldiered on for the sake of her son. Until her son finally told her that he loved her and he was ready to let her go, did she die.
Further Christian perspectives are discussed below: