A Perspective on Working in Hospice and Grief

Lindsey Ingle*

A Perspective on Working in Hospice and Grief.

Almost every time that I share my profession with others, I am met with a myriad of facial expressions and awkward gestures that reflect a sort of discomfort and general misunderstanding about what I do.

The only common thread in public perception seems to be that it’s hard and terribly sad. Hard in the sense that
it takes a very special and different human being to stare death in the face every day and be able to cope, understand and deal with
the cycle of life and to be able to stay focused and strong for other families.

Most of my friends greet me with things like, “I don’t know how you do that job!” or “I could never do what you do.” Or even, “how do
you not cry every single day?” I have to be honest that when I meet with families in their darkest of hours, there is a self-preparation that
goes a long with it.

There is a mental shell that I place myself in. I understand that when I push open the door and walk into a hospital room filled with emotions and uncertainty, that I have the ability to be the light. I am there to guide them and give answers to questions to the best of my ability.

Questions that are dark and intense. Questions that evoke tears and strike pain. Sometimes its questions
that I myself do not have the ability to answer such as time frames. If only we all had a crystal ball.

Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2020; 6(2): 15. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-6-137