I have been working with death for 8 years. When the reality of mortality stares you in the face every morning, your battles start to pick themselves. And I celebrate the day I found this place, this work family. This is where I learned to try to say what needs to be said everyday, because life is precious, and oh so fragile.
Hospice has been such a huge part of my life and growth, that I plan to write a few posts exploring my history and present in this industry, as well as the emotional and spiritual growth it has brought to my life.
So let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
February 2002. I had totaled my car in October, commuting ‘over the hill’ to my job, and I was done with the 50 mile – 2 hours a day commute. (I know that distance is a stone’s throw compared to some commutes, but I digress.) I had two job offers on the table, and I did not know if I could do the job with Hospice. More responsibility than ever before in an industry filled with sad stories and mystery or a receptionist gig with an insurance agency?
You’re right, the choice was not hard.
Bob* (not her real name) and I started on the same day. As we were having the tour, hospice’s first terminated employee was being escorted from the building. Little did we know the realities facing our supervisors at that time. During my first 2 years with hospice, the Director of Operations exposed all the roots of our little hospice to find the decay, and it was carved out. We started a new foundation on the remaining solid ground, and our budget has grown by at least $1mil every year since I’ve started. Our always outstanding clinical care is now matched by an outstanding structure of administrative management and support.