Changing Colours

Now some may take offence to this writing but please take into consideration I am creating awareness, in honour and respect of our dear dad who left this world on February 29 at 11:35 AM. Surrounded by his daughters in a room where it reeked in lack of privacy, dignity, respect, and compassionate communication, these are things I will continue to fight for, for change for our seniors, our dear elderly who have earned the honour and respect to have a specific end of life care room. This poem reflects the truth in his death, his last few days and hours and the grief of his daughters. Thank you ❤ 

 

Pillows of grief cushion the fall

through veil of tears attempted goodbyes

interrupted by fear and impolite noise

death is lurking the soul in waiting

 

Bedside manners filled with prayer

holding the hand that soon will be gone

air is thick with cluttered interruptions 

enters and exits rob us of moments

 

Angels hover our hearts are breaking

straining to hear breath of wings

clamorous shuffles we try to focus

songs are sung to mask such commotion

 

United despaired we cling to hope 

that soon death will not be displayed

pleading for grace and a quite arbor

respect for a soul fighting for life

 

Solitude required why must  we beg

like scavengers we crave for dignity

respect for our loved one on display

communication scattered lost in shuffled 

 

Broken now the colours change

rapid breath before the calling 

we strain to hear the heart of father

the hands once warm now feel the chill

 

He rushes now to meet our mother

embraced in heaven we say goodbyes

amidst our sorrow his pain is over 

the show is over the curtain falls

KJS

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#awareness #communication #elderly #seniors #dying #dignity #respect #honour #privacy #compassion #consideration #mp #Ontario #government #local #longtermcare #endoflifecare #love #like @share #comment #prayforchange  

The Visit

Through glass they view

the skies of blue

that turn to shades

of gloomy hues

 

Down long halls

encased grey walls

which hold the rails

that brace their falls

 

Beyond the doorway

shadows of ghosts

that linger awhile

to encourage and boast

 

Have they escaped 

this prison of age

their souls still restless

bound by this cage

 

Release their bondage

shatter the spell

this visit of kin

the final farewell

KJS

 

As an advocate for seniors our dear elderly, I encourage and admonish, your dear loved ones need an advocate, they need to have frequent family visits; for one day it will be you sitting wondering waiting, peering through panes of glass, looking through doorways, will they come today?

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Dying In Dignity

Dying with Dignity 

(Dignity in Death in Long Term Care Homes)

Dedicated to the recent passing of my dear daddy and to my dear mother may they rest in peace.

In memory of all the dear elderly to whom have completed this journey and to those who are on this journey.

 

The halls that stretch from end to end echo the weary steps of the elderly

imprints of their tired lives embrace the cold hard floors.

Each shuffling step engraved within the tiles reflect their life stories, chapters of their journeys, paragraphs of remember whens, life events that got lost in the traffic of daily life in the halls.

For so many dear seniors their last few paragraphs of their life, silent stories are etched in long term care homes, where their hurt, pain, suffering, searching for their lost memories, struggles of missing sentences to their lives. Who will listen, who will write and publish their stories, so they can be read, heard and cherished?

Spending such a great amount of time in these homes with the seniors, especially with my parents, I watch in sadness as some go day after day, month after month with no visitors, no family, their lives have become a daily routine of their own lost thoughts and unspoken words, eyes that are dry with so many tears. No matter what or how these daily routines are mapped out these dear souls are wending their way, the destination “end of life”.

At end of life there is a story that demands respect, dignity, compassion, and privacy in goodbyes, grief, and in lasting impressions of a loved ones passing; In able to write this merited account there needs to be a place, a space to create atmosphere that enables ALL the attributes of respect and dignity of ones souls crossing over from their weary life to the other realm.

My father spent his remaining days at a Long Term Care home in Grey county, his days were filled with his daughter(s) visits, writing poems and drawing cartoons. There were dedicated friends from his church family who visited him on a weekly basis, all these things contributed to his happiness and quality of life. There were amazing nurses and staff at his home that he learned to rely on and aided in his well being. As dads health started failing and went from failing to rapid decline after he fell out of his bed, it was time to sign the papers for palliative care and end of life care. I could go into great detail but as it is, I want to maintain some privacy…my dad was dying, the family wanted him moved to “the suite”, a private room (where my late mother rest her soul spent her remaining  hours of her life in palliative end of life care) …where an elderly soul could die in peace, privacy, and dignity, surrounded by his daughters to say final good byes, to spend precious private family time, for dad to have respect in his concluding hours. Sadly we learned that the so called suite was used not just to accommodate palliative care but for other reasons and other care as we were not told this up front. If we had know ALL the details and the communication had been there we would have made other plans! It shocked me that in a long term care home of 100 residents there was not one specific room solely for the purpose of offering respect, dignity, and privacy for an elderly soul whom was on palliative end of life care. I will mention there were a couple offers that were given  approximately 3 hours before my dad took his final breath, offers that were given after desperate emails and phone calls and text messages, offers that added to our pain and grief because these offers could not have happened due to the frail condition of my dear dad and that his end of life was close at hand, as I was by his side it was extremely evident the angels were hovering.

To say the least out of respect for my dad I want and plead for change! I do not desire any other soul to have to die with his or her death on display, I do not want the family to feel the shocking appalling sinking feeling that their last hours with their dying family member will be scarred with memories of fighting for this deserved respect.

Please lets take this serious, in honour of our seniors, the elderly! Lets fight for change they deserve that at least! in my closing I would like to admonish all families to allow their family member(s) to have an advocate, I cannot begin to imagine what all would have been swept under the carpet if I had not been my dad’s advocate and went to bat for him! We would not be here today if it were not for our seniors, lets give them the safe quality of life they deserve. God bless them all.

Hold my hand and feel my life

the path though worn is there

Threads of memory still exist

tattered frayed and threadbare

 

Feel my heart ’tis broken and torn

do you have compassion?

Mend my soul with threads of gold

spun from interaction

 

Stay awhile to get a sense

why oft times I feel so lost

Now and then you’d never know

the heaviness of my cross

 

Bring a ray of sunshine with you

melt away the icy fears

Bestow me with the warmth of friendship

exchanging smiles instead of tears

KJS©

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Silent Crosses and Hushed Tears

Silent crosses
scrape the earthy
floor of my heart
creating trenches
of sadness and heartbreak

I try to lift
the crosses
so they are not so heavy
my shoulders are tired
my chest is weak

looking downward
the brown murky dirt
meets my gaze
so dry so dusty
I pray for rain
to wash away the ache

Hushed tears
fill the trenches
with each step
footprints are graved
filled with faint hope
but mostly dread

Change is needed
prayer is choked
with vines of doubt
fear of voicing hurts
words are left unspoken
the ache continues

KJS

 

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