As a little boy his mum would always sing his favourite nursery rhyme to him, as part of his bedtime routine. He was her little star.
We had admitted him only the day before, and we thought that he only had days left to live. End-stage disease had wreaked havoc on his body, and was starting to impinge on his mind. What was important to him? Family above all, his children, his siblings, his parents was whom he spoke about. He was uncomfortable and needed extra medications to control his various symptoms. He told us that he knew his time was short and that his family would be trying to spend as much time as possible with him.
Following the weekend there were less family members around. His mother had become acutely unwell, and the hospital had also found end-stage disease. They made a referral to see if we could admit her as well. The family had to split themselves, with one half holding their vigil in hospital, and the other half holding their vigil at the hospice. Never the twain shall meet?
A no-brainer from my point of view. Let’s reunite the family, dying son could then see dying mother. A really sad situation, but at least the whole family could be together for both dying family members. Quick logistical arrangements were made and the son was shifted to our largest room. This would allow both beds to be in the same room as each other at times. So that they could all be surrounded by their family members.
No-one could lessen the tragedy of the life event, but at least the family didn’t have to split themselves in two, trying to hold a vigil at two places at once. The overall stress was relieved a small amount as they accompanied their loved ones in their final days.
The son set after two more twilights, and his mother would only experience three more sunrises before her light dimmed for the last time. The family planned to hold a combined funeral service in which many stories would be highlighted, and the warm glow of love would be shared.
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are