Life over the past two years had become chaotic and uncertain, but she was certain that the gathered guests were there for a good cause. She thanked the crowd for spending their time at the hospice fundraising lunch. In New Zealand there are over 27000 registered charities and on this day hundreds of people had chosen to be there to raise money for the hospice. She thanked the sponsors and donors for their generous gifts and support. She told them that hospice couldn’t do what they do without their help.
She didn’t know what hospice was about until three years after her mother’s death. She cradled her mother in her arms as she became heavier and heavier, and as she took her last breaths. Although she was flooded with deep sadness, relief was the dominant feeling. Relief from her mother not suffering any longer. The night before her mother died she decided to chase her dream to become an Olympian. On arrival at the hospice they could feel the care and love surrounding them. When her mother was transferred to the hospice she was able to sleep in a La-Z-Boy instead of the hard-tiled floor of the hospital.
Yesterday morning she thought she would not survive long enough to speak at the hospice fundraising event this afternoon. She had to bring her oxygen bottle to be able to attend. She shared with the audience her own experiences of hospice, and how they had helped her make life more bearable. She talked about the friends she had made at the hospice’s living well centre. There was one friend in particular who she missed the most. The final contact they had with each other was when her friend was in the hospital. The hospice group of friends had sent their friend best wishes via a group photo, which was much appreciated. Unfortunately, their friend died the next day. A reminder of how precarious life is when you are dying.