Living...and Dying Well
The New York Times ran an article this month celebrating the life of seacoast resident Peter Fuller. The piece talked about his career as an amateur boxer, his time as a WWII Marine, and his graduation from Harvard. Following those accomplishments, Mr. Fuller became famous as the owner of Dancer's Image who won, and then subsequently lost, the 1968 Kentucky Derby. His life was an interesting one, full with the joys of a large family and passionate undertakings in his career.
In his last few days, he came to live with us at Edgewood and we had the privilege of providing the type of end of life care that is so important to those who wish to die well. According to his family, "it seemed that once he was settled into his bed, with many pillows all around him to hold him soft and safe, he was better. He had a view of the Japanese maple and the rhododendrons in bloom, and that was a lovely sight to a man at one with nature."
It wasn't just about the view, however, and it never is. It's about making sure there was an extra cot brought in so his daughter could sleep beside him those last two nights. It was about making sure the family was fed as they waited and making sure the care was provided as much for them as for him. Dying is, after all, often hardest on those who survive. End of life care is about providing a transcendent time of comfort and compassion so that heartfelt connection can take it's rightful place at the top of the list.