The documentary movie, It’s a Wrap, is about Grandma Haya. She decides to stop eating, stop taking her medication, and begins organizing her farewell party from life. Her friends and family try to dissuade her, but Haya is adamant about her decision. Miri, Haya’s daughter, finds herself caught between her desire to help her mother organize the farewell party, and her fear that she will soon become an orphan. This is also Miri’s last chance to find out from her mother the origins of her father, whom Miri has never met.
If you’re in a situation like Miri, this can be an extremely troubling and stressful situation. Rather than waiting for a celebration of life before a loved one has passed, here are a few ideas to celebrate a life while the patient is in either home or in-patient hospice.
- Plan a dinner, a potluck, or go the patient’s favorite restaurant
- Ask friends and family to record a message and put together a video complication and watch it with the patient
- Ask friends and family to write a message thanking the patient for something specific and mail it
- Take the patient on an outing to a favorite place, such as a park, a bench, a garden, a library
- Ask friends and family to contribute to the patient’s favorite charity or organization in their name
- Organize a roast so each person who feels comfortable sharing, tells a story about the patient
- Organize a farewell party, sit in a circle, and let the conversation meander organically
And it can be difficult to know what to say to a loved one at the end of her/his life. Here is one idea.
I don’t want to say goodbye. Nothing will hurt as much as letting you go but I’m grateful for all the wonderful moments we shared together. I love you so much.