I went for an 8 mile run today at 6am, so I had plenty of time for random musings and to ponder the following conundrum:
Why do families spend so much time talking to me about death, when all we do here at Regency Nursing is celebrate life? They will say things like “take care of Mom until she dies,” “Mom wont be here too much longer,” “Mom will soon be in a better place,” and so on.
I’ve noticed different patterns over time when it comes to the topic of death. For some people, death is a way for a loved one to transition to a ‘better place,’ a place where they will be at peace. Death is the culmination of a life well lived and an indelible impression etched upon those who loved and were loved.
For others, death spells the end of the road for all things and a separation from both the loved ones who are left behind, as well as the malcontents of this Earth.
While it is beyond the scope of this article to cover the topic of Religion and how it relates to life and death, I couldn’t help but juxtapose this enigma with similar thoughts regarding the famous recent Atheist, Christopher Hitchens who partied hard and died harder.
His recent death engendered some interesting feedback from various segments of the population.
For those who struggle with issues of Faith and Religion, Hitchens was like a beacon of light in a world of darkness. For these people, Hitchens’ death provided yet another assertion – indeed an affirmation, that there is no life beyond death and that the silent grave is the culmination of our life’s effort.
The social networking sites were rife with postings lauding the ‘accomplishments’ of this “giant intellectual.”
Using terms like “visionary” and “intellectual”, these segments attempted to attribute plan and purpose to a man whose very life’s work was the quintessential expression of such an extreme and reckless form of Existentialism, to make Kierkegaard seem mellow by comparison!
For even within the spheres where the primacy of self is promoted with ‘no strings attached’, Hitchens was almost singular in his unabashed pursuit of all forms of self gratification as the Sine qua non of our existence.
To be sure, the Hitchen devotees will argue that the perceived lack of plan and purpose was in fact the plan and purpose of his life. They will make the case that his approach stemmed from a pro-active desire to live life to the fullest; ergo the dissolute intemperance with which he conducted himself.
Of course, many people don’t quite see it that way and “celebrating life” takes on a completely different meaning in their lexicon.
So what does it mean for us at Regency Nursing Centers?
Our Founder and President often remarks that at Regency Nursing Facilities, we take care of people, period.
Whether they are here on Hospice, Rehab, Respite, or long term Skilled Nursing, they will be treated with the utmost care and compassion. Our palliative and end of life Hospice programs celebrates the lives of our residents so that they spend their remaining time on this Earth in comfort and dignity.
“Death” is not specifically a “topic of conversation” for us. We celebrate life and we take care of our own regardless of their clinical condition or status.
It is for this reason that Regency Nursing Centers in New Jersey have the best reputation in the business.
To die is an irrevocable reality. “Death and taxes” are two constants, as the saying goes.
None of us can determine or dictate the destiny of an individual and that is how we feel at Regency Nursing Centers.
So long as a resident is living under our roof, we will ensure that they “Celebrate Life to The Fullest!”