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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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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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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The way you approach your life will be the way you approach your death.
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The way you approach your life will be the way you approach your death

The photograph I used here is my recently deceased sister, Benita. She was passionate about life and did not suffer fools lightly. She was sweet, brilliant and fierce, loved animals and intelligent men. And I understand why she wanted just her friend to take care of her while she was dying. She wanted everyone to […]

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Why are we so afraid to speak up?
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Why are we so afraid to speak up?

It’s an intense environment when caring for someone who’s dying. The family, caregivers, pets, neighbors and at times people who want to impose their life’s horror stories are usually weary, grieving and not used to simply waiting. As the clock ticks the precious time away, I need to draw all my reserves to remain patient, […]

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Be ready for surprises.

Mrs. MacDowell was 101 years old. I met her when she was living with her granddaughter, Moira. Moira had three teenagers. My visit was the last of my week, and when I entered her house it was pure fun and chaos. It was four hours before the senior prom, and the house was a cacophony […]

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Doctors aren’t going to change, and I’m okay with that.

Doctors have trained for a decade or longer. They are constantly trying to perfect a task, service or procedure, and their reward is a positive outcome. I believe it’s hard for them to wrap their head around the fact that medicine is a truly inexact science practiced on complex and differing human beings. So we […]

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Caring for the dying asks us to reopen our deep, personal wounds.

Rick Gallen was a highly decorated Marine who was dying from complications of colon cancer. He’d admitted himself to our residential hospice against his family’s wishes. Determined to do “this dying” by himself, on his own terms, he didn’t want his family to enter his room and complicate his plan. After a few weeks of […]

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Caring for the dying asks us to reopen our deep, personal wounds.

Rick Gallen was a highly decorated Marine who was dying from complications of colon cancer. He’d admitted himself to our residential hospice against his family’s wishes. Determined to do “this dying” by himself, on his own terms, he didn’t want his family to enter his room and complicate his plan. After a few weeks of […]

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