End of Life Care Blog

On the night before Christmas there was a knock at my door. I opened it and was met by a smiling woman with an array of presents. She apologised for troubling me on Christmas Eve and asked whether I knew where my elderly neighbour was, as it was unusual for him to be out at this time of the evening. I invited her in and broke the news to her that her friend of 40 years had died six months ago.

Understandably she was shocked and extremely upset. I asked whether she knew why she had not been notified. She explained that she was divorced from my neighbour’s cousins but still kept in touch at Christmas despite the family split. We exchanged best wishes for Christmas and the New Year and I promised I would let his family know that she had come to visit. Following discussion with the family, I discovered there was no comprehensive list of contacts for his sons to follow. Even though they did their best to inform immediate family and friends, they hadn’t known there was still this link with a separated member of the family.

Sometimes this scenario is inevitable as even the best laid plans have gaps. However, if my neighbour had talked more openly with his family about this link, his boys would have been able to inform everyone who was dear to him so they could be included in the grieving process.

In relation to EOLC meetings and events, there were a number that I attended towards the end of 2017. To read more click here

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