My Personal Connection to Hospice

By Tim L. Pape

Editor’s Note: When Tim Pape signed up to receive NHF’s online news, we asked him to tell us a little about his reasons, he wrote this.  We wanted to share it with you.

I have a pretty strong personal connection with hospice and here are some of the reasons. I am no stranger to death. The scary word that no one wants to talk about has been the most common topic talked about in my personal and professional life. My experience with death started very young with my grandfather dying. Later in the fifth grade my teacher collapsed and went in to a diabetic coma and soon after passed; she was very young. My father had a heart attack and died when I was 14. His mother could not handle losing her son and died shortly after my father. My cousin was shot and killed at 14 not long after that. I lost two close friends to suicide in high school. I married and had three beautiful healthy daughters. My youngest, at age 7 months, died in her sleep and went to be with Jesus on September 28, 2010.  Six months after that my stepfather died on Hospice, the same hospice I was working for at the time. With hospice my mother called her second husband’s death a beautiful death; only hospice can provide that. So I am no stranger to death and have also been on a few different sides of hospice. 

One of my messages that I share with people is this: if you have ever had a sudden death in your family who was close to you, you know how difficult it is. After the pouring in of support for a month or two, everyone gets back to their lives and you are left alone to grieve and have no REAL support for yourself or your family*. When you have someone close to you that you know is going to die and they choose hospice care for the short period of life they have left, you reap the benefits and receive REAL support. Hospice provides so much for families that NO OTHER profession can. If you ever have the opportunity to choose Hospice please do so for you and your family.

Hospice has had a profound effect on my outlook on death. It is part of our journey of life and I am passionate to share how important it is to prepare as much as you can for death in your own life.  I work for a Hospice company in Boise, Idaho called Life’s Doors as a community liaison and am passionate about what I do and who I do it for. These are the reasons for my personal connection to hospice.

*Editor’s note: all hospices provide bereavement support for families of patients they served. In addition, many hospices also provide grief support to others in the community, regardless of whether or not the person being mourned was served by hospice. To learn more, visit the bereavement section of the Caring Connections website.