There’s a passionate appeal in a newspaper for proper government funding for hospice care. The NHS funds only a third of hospice care in England with the rest coming from charity, and in the past two years 73% of hospices have had their NHS funding cut. It isn’t right and it needs to be put right with sufficient funding. We all have an interest in this!
When there is well managed end of life care those last few weeks or days can be times of great blessing and enrichment, say experts, including our PFS end of life specialist, Emma, manager of the Bethany home in Plymouth. Those days can be more rich and intense than at any time in our lives. Emma has so many reports of residents who ‘flowered’ in their final days.
When she knew she was dying, writer Helen Dunmore wrote a poem called, ‘My Life’s Stem Was Cut’. * The poem ends,
‘I know I am dying/But why not keep flowering/ As long as I can/From my cut stem?’
Most of us don’t like to think about our death even though, for believers, it’s the gateway to Heaven. We should all have ‘a beautiful death’, according to Emma, able to flower as long as we can. It may not be always possible: the biggest pain in death is said to be psychological – there can be broken relationships, unfinished business, or other regrets.
But for those whose life’s stem is cut or simply withering, there is Jesus. Simply Jesus. The Rose of the Sharon whose death means that we can flower.