As soon as I tell someone that I work in hospice, I get a stricken look and then the predictable question: “Isn’t that depressing?”
Emotional sometimes, yes. Celebratory and empowering, yes. Depressing, no.
There’s a sign at work that says “How you die is not your choice; but how you live is.” We have it so backward, as a society, so much obsession on death, trying to avoid death and aging as if looking young will spare us from the grave. And so litte focus on what we are learning each day we are alive, what we are teaching, what we can enjoy from everyday moments, what fingerprints we are leaving for someone after us.
I credit working here for a lot of my shift in focus and thinking about my life and about the actions of others. Life is too short to agonize over why someone else chooses the path they do. I can’t control the willingness of others to be either a positive or negative impact on life. I own my life, and it is a strong, beautiful feeling to let go of the burden of poor choices that belong to someone else.
“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” — Victor E. Frankl
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Joanne Kathleen Rowling
“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, ‘I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,’ that person cannot say, ‘I choose otherwise.’ — Stephen R. Covey