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‘Dying is a certainty for us all’

13th May 2016

As a Chaplain I constantly reflect on the simple truth that dying is a certainty for us all.  Also that humankind has decided the sort of age at which we think it is acceptable to die, and it is a figure that gets bigger and bigger as the years roll on.  Yet I still surprise myself in my belief that I too will go on and on, with total good health, until I am over a hundred and fall asleep blissfully after a milky drink!  The reality is that some of us will not live to great years and, even if we do, our death is as important as our birth, signifying the marker posts of our lives.

logo dying mattersThis year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week focuses on the Big Conversation – “Talking about dying won’t make it happen!”.  And it really is true.  There is no such thing as tempting fate.  But what is there to talk about?  We could start wherever we are, at whatever age we are, and even if we are perfectly fit, with the open acknowledgment that we won’t all live forever.  Then have a think about:

  • Do significant members of your family and friendship group know your story, where you grew up, what has happened in your life, what you have experienced?
  • Have you said “I love you” and “thank you” today?
  • Are there material things that you would like to pass to someone special after your death?
  • Who might take care of any dependents or of your pets?
  • Where is your preferred place of death?
  • Who is important to you?
  • What is important to you? (Music, hobbies, interests perhaps).
  • What do you believe in?
  • Is the celebration of your life (your funeral) going to reflect who you are?

You see, there is a lot to talk about.  Doing so will help you and your loved ones to understand yourselves and each other better.  So, buy some cakes, a nice meal, a bottle of wine, a picnic…. or whatever is a special treat to you, get together with those you care about, and get talking.

Rev’d Clare Griffiths | Lead Chaplain

practical plans

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.