COLUMN: Difficult living life without any regrets

Published 7:30 am Saturday, March 2, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Hospice team works diligently to support our patients’ and families’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice professionals often hear and see love stories and witness incredible acts of sacrificial love. Sadly, hospice professionals sometimes listen to regrets. Indeed, it is heartbreaking to witness regrets at the end of life.

Vickie Wacaster, Patient and Hospice Advocate with Aveanna Hospice (formerly Comfort Care Hospice)

Therefore, when I think about living a life of love or regrets, I ask myself how I want to live daily.

  1. I want to live all my moments in awe of the precious gift of life.
  2. I do not want to have regrets I did not forgive.
  3. I do not want to regret missing an opportunity to say, “I love you.”
  4. I do not want to regret that I did not do all I could do to be uplifting to another person on this journey we call life.
  5. I want to seek wise counsel when I am overwhelmed by circumstances or situations.

So today, my prayer for you is that when you face situations you cannot control, and we all do, may you control what can be controlled: your thoughts, words, and how you react to the situation.

Not surprisingly, when I think about living and about the end of life, I often think about hospice. In hospice, we see the reality of life. We become a part of a person’s end journey. For many years, people have told me, “I don’t know how you do what you do. I couldn’t work in hospice; I would get too close, I am too emotional, it would be too depressing.” I always end this conversation with the same statement, “What is going to happen is going to happen with or without hospice, and we do what we do because we know we make a positive difference in lives.” In hospice, when a cure has not been found, we focus on every day being the best day it can be by treating the patient and family with dignity and respect.

One of my favorite Bible verses is, “and Jesus wept,” ‎John 11:34 KJV. Sometimes, we have to cry, and that is okay. God gave us tears to express a language from our hearts that flows from inside our souls, which mere words cannot say.

— Vickie C. Wacaster is a Patient and Hospice Advocate for Aveanna Hospice.