Hospice: The Day That Changed My Life

I remembered the fear and worry in my grandmother’s eyes the night before when my grandfather had been admitted to a hospice when he had been suffering from an unusual fever that never subsided, prompting us to call an ambulance. I had never been in this situation before and my anxiety had heightened more than ever. The paramedics clamored over my grandfather, scolding my grandmother for having not called for help sooner, “If you knew that he was in this condition then why did you not call for help earlier?” A police officer came in the next morning questioning us about what we had done to him as if we had intended to harm him when that was never the case, “Have you ever abused or caused unlawful bodily harm on him?” It was finally the day to see him at the hospice since the last night when the ambulance had taken him away. (I no longer remember the name of the hospice for reasons pertaining to having repressed the memories because I have never shared this experience with anyone else outside my family.)
I wondered if this was his last day. An afterthought I had each day for those last nine years my grandfather had spent the remainder of his life in a hospital bed in my family’s home after having suffered the debilitating effects of a stroke as a side effect of having stopped taking his antibiotics as his doctor had prescribed. As my
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My brother protested to stay with him through it all, “If I were grandpa, I would rather have my loved ones around me. At the very least, it is better that we stay here. If you guys will not let him die at home, it is best that we let him die by our side.” In the end, our stubbornness and overwhelming sense of sadness prompted us to leave without realizing that it was the last time he would be physically next to us alive and breathing after having passed away several hours later that

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