Ginny's Story Continued

After listening carefully, Mary explained what they could expect.

Mary pointed out end-of-life coaches help families say good-bye to their loved one in a way that’s meaningful for the dying person and their family. They give the family times of needed respite. End-of-life coaches guide and support families through the patient’s dying process.

Mary’s services would include handling the practical matters at this time, as well as addressing Ginny’s human, emotional and spiritual needs:

  • Helping Ginny and her family understand what’s happening to Ginny’s body as death approaches;

  • Assistance with physical care;

  • Discussing hospice options

  • Communication with care staff if she entered hospice;

  • Talking about the family’s worries and concerns;

  • Helping Ginny explore the meaning of her life;

  • Helping create a physical reminder of who Ginny is and what her life means;

  • Leading Ginny in guided visualizations to decrease pain and increase her sense of well- being

The practical aspects included preparing for the hardest aspects for everyone - planning for Ginny’s last days and hours:

  • Where did Ginny wish to die;

  • How did Ginny want her bed and room arranged;

  • How would the family be involved;

  • What if any rituals would Ginny like to have performed as she dies or immediately after her death;

  • When Mary would be present at Ginny’s bedside;

  • How would Mary support the family before and after Ginny’s death: processing the highs and lows of Ginny’s last days; explaining the grief process.

Mary said that she would do everything she could to make Ginny’s death a dignified and meaningful process.

Ginny, Bob and Michael thanked Mary for taking the time to meet with them. They asked for some time to think about all that Mary had told them. Mary thanked them for the opportunity to speak with them and said she would call them in a couple of days to see if they had any questions and to discuss whether or not to proceed.

The next post will follow Mary’s work with Ginny, Bob, and Michael as she accompanies them during Mary’s transition.

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