Death is a reality.
But it's not always a tragedy.
The tragedy, all too often, is life.
Life lived in pain. Life lived in fear of death.
Life lived in the shadow of death, in denial of death.
In the never healing grief brought on by death.
When life is so overshadowed by death that it cannot thrive and flourish
– that is the tragedy.
A tragedy that St Elizabeth Hospice is committed to averting.
Here at St Elizabeth we live intimately with death every day. And
we’ve come to see it not as a shadow cast over life, but as a light that
can illuminate it. After all, it’s only the knowledge that we are going
to die that tells us we are actually alive. It’s the yin to life’s yang.
Without one, you simply cannot have the other.
The people we have the privilege of working with every day know
that they – or someone close to them – are going to die. Not in the
vague sense that we all say we know. They really know.
Now they are having to find the strength and the courage to look
death straight in the eye. Perhaps for the first time ever. It is our job,
our vocation and our privilege to stand alongside them in support as they do so.
And when we do, something amazing happens. Life flourishes.
Yes, there’s still grief, anger, pain. Of course there is. Because that’s
all part of life. But so is love, joy and happiness. And it is only by
accepting the one, that we can allow in the other.
Only by facing death, can we live life.
That’s why we encourage everyone we work with – everyone, in fact,
who happens to be alive – to look at death. Live with death. Get
angry at death. Embrace death. Shake your fist at death.
Give death a kiss. But whatever you do.