Nina McKissock readers' favorite - Mrs. McDowell
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Chapter Six. Mrs. McDowell. One of the readers’ favorites.

CHAPTER SIX Mrs. McDowell Mom, it will cost about ten thousand dollars to fly your body to Ireland. That includes the burial, transport, the hall rental, the blessing by the Monsignor, and all the food and drink for the two-day party afterward.” “Then you can take that out of your inheritance.” “But Mom, um, respectfully, […]

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Shit's gotten real Nina Mckissock blog
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Shit’s gotten real.

Why humor is essential and mandatory when serving the dying. A very nice sister-in-law who visited her brother-in-law for hours every day said, “How do you do this work? I’d be crying all the time.” Let’s see; I think I’ve heard this about five million times. I want to say them, “Oh yeah, I’m just […]

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Perhaps he fell on his own sword, blog by author Nina McKissock
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Perhaps he fell on his own sword

My team and I take care of at least ten patients a day who are actively dying and are approved by the algorithm of their insurance provider to be within six months of their death. They come from all walks of life. Some look like junkyard dogs whose bodies have been through absolute hell: old […]

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When doing less is doing more. My dying sisters advice.

Six months before my sister died, she agreed to record her thoughts as her health dwindled and ended. I wish I could play them for you, but what she says is opposite the massively expensive investments we’re making in End of Life and chronically ill (Palliative) care. Do we health practitioners really have the courage […]

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singapore-hockey-umpire-nina-mckissock
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Oh c’mon; I’m not a bummer.

I anxiously flipped my pen between my fingers, talking myself out of the feeling to pee. I was on hold for a half hour waiting to be a contestant on a popular radio show, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Tom Hanks was the guest host tonight and as I listened in, the famous comedians on […]

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Are we ever really known?

The photo is of my gloriously intelligent, gorgeous, gentle and quick-witted sister. She died in 2015. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I truly knew her. As a hospice nurse, I serve families and friends as they are saying goodbye to someone they care about. I cherish the time when one of my hospice […]

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Helping compared to Serving, blog by Nina Mckissock
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Helping compared to Serving

As many of you know, I honor the Being a Compassionate Caregiver teachings of Frank Ostaseski. He’s simply a volunteer, a layman, a practicing Buddhist. But there is nothing “simple” about his ferocity and curiosity about the dying experience. I’d like to share bits of his lectures. His perspectives are profoundly right. I know this […]

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Relion: A mixed bag, blog by Nina Mckissock
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Religion: A mixed bag

Closer; we’re getting closer. I can feel and witness it within my dying patients and the people who attend my presentations. They ask honest, intelligent questions, and listen. I’m quite proud of them. We’re getting closer to accepting that the world religions are not gentle, loving and forgiving. If pleasing your god is everything you […]

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The hospices I visited in Singapore, blog by Nina McKissock
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The hospices I visited in Singapore

When I travel throughout the world, I make it a point to visit hospices and homes where they care for their dying. In Singapore, I was greeted with enthusiasm, elegance and grace at two hospices. They each spent a day with me and generously shared their opinions while we brainstormed about cultural and legal differences […]

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Caring for a dying Marine. The story of Rick Gallen.
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Caring for a dying Marine. The story of Rick Gallen.

CHAPTER THREE  RICK GALLEN I kept reminding myself to breathe the way my yoga instructor had demonstrated in the introductory class; it was crucial in this situation. I’d learned long ago breathing was the only way to step into someone’s fear without becoming undone. I shouldn’t have been surprised I was having a hard time […]

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