I recently picked up a book from the library called “Taking About Death Won’t Kill You” by Virginia Morris. For me, no matter how many of my family members have passed on, my parents, a brother, a sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. death still is difficult even though I believe and know that the person is in a better place. It’s still my missing them that makes death difficult. In the book, Virginia cites various studies that report that before death 40% of hospitalized patients spend time in brightly lit intensive care departments and that 50% of patients prior to death were in severe pain. I don’t know about you, but this is clearly not the way I want to go out of this world. This is why discussions of death, palliative and hospice care are even more important and should be discussed before the last minute. My brother who was diagnosed with leukemia after coming home for our father’s funeral passed on about eight months later. He had hospice care at home during the last month of his life and was able to die with dignity in the comfort of his own home instead of in a brightly lit hospital room. My father-in-law who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago also passed on about eight months later in the comfort of his home under hospice care. This is the way people died earlier in the century, but without the benefits of hospice care and pain management. Family members took care of family members at home and funerals were held at home. It was a different time.