Karen Brown, a reporter at New England Public Radio, contributed a heartbreaking op-ed to The New York Times that was published over the weekend. In the piece, “This Was Not the Good Death We Were Promised,” Karen shares the story of her father’s death…and how his final time on earth fell short of what he (and she) wanted – from the article:
But at the very end, confronted by a sudden deterioration in my father’s condition, hospice did not fulfill its promise to my family — not for lack of good intentions but for lack of staff and foresight.
John O. McManus, founding principal of McManus & Associates, was moved by the piece and wanted to reach out to Karen. Below is the comment that John submitted in response to the article, which was selected as one of only 16 “Times’ Picks” out of more than 750 reader comments and has already been recommended over 120 times.
I too, am saddened by your loss. What an elegant job you do outlining the issues, and an evolution in hospice care will come.
Running an estate planning law firm, I see our team confronted with the passing of loved ones more frequently than we would ever wish.
What strikes me most was how wonderfully you and (ostensibly) your siblings were there with your father “curled up with him” as he undoubtedly curled up with you in your youth, a heartwarming demonstration of the cycle of life and family.
Indeed your father was not in an enviable position in his final hours, but your father has so much for which to be thankful in his final months as you all comforted and tended to him. The stories of each of you, your father’s children, making your daily sacrifices, no doubt skipping work, time with your own children and social commitments, never cease to significantly move me showing the power of humanity to comfort loved ones and the strength and commitment to the family bond.
Despite those final hours, I submit that your father was — and if you believe in an afterlife — your father is happier than you might ever give yourself credit to appreciate. Your work sends a great message to your children.
McManus & Associates is here to provide guidance to you and your family on the creation of a plan that will do everything possible to help avoid heartbreaking situations like Karen’s. Reach out to us at 908-898-0100.