Sudden Death or a Gradual Passing?

None of us knows exactly how and when we will die. But most hospice patients are aware that death is approaching. Hospice care works to ensure that the death process is as pain free as possible. Patient comfort is the top priority. In addition to physical comfort, hospice provides patients and families with emotional and spiritual counsel.

The gradual path to the end of life is the preferred method of hospice care. Our hospice often receives calls from family members to provide care at the very end of life—often during the patient’s final few days or even final few hours. Ideally, a patient, caregiver and other loved ones will have a longer period of time with hospice care—several weeks or several months. This allows the patient and loved ones to talk about what’s coming and to say goodbyes.

The recent passing of former St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial was, according to comments from family members, a peaceful death with no discomfort. According to reports, his family members and select friends were able to say goodbye.

On the same day that Stan Musial died peacefully, at the end of a steady decline, others in St. Louis and across the US died suddenly. Heart attacks, aneurisms and other causes led to deaths that were unexpected and left many loved ones stunned. Family members and friends did not have the opportunity to say goodbye…until the funeral.

Some people have said that they would prefer a quick passing: no lingering illnesses, no extended stays in hospitals and care facilities, no drawn-out months-long anguish for family and friends. Of course, as the opening sentence states, none of us knows exactly how and when we will die.

At Hope Hospice, we tailor our services to the patient’s condition and needs. Some of our new patients are at death’s doorstep while other new patients may be months away from passing. We are sometimes surprised by a patient’s sudden, sooner-than-expected death. Other times, we are amazed that a patient lives well beyond expectations.

Despite the many years of experience among our Hope Hospice staff members, we are not always able to comprehend all the mysteries of life and death. We do know that we provide a needed service that makes end-of-life as comfortable and peaceful as possible.

If you wish to learn more about Hope Hospice, call us anytime at 314-984-9800.


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