When my great grandmother was dying, I remember the day hospice came. My family was at her house – my aunts, my uncles, my cousins. it was Spring and everyone was in the backyard talking and pacing and crying. We have a big family and it operates together – one big group. The focus was my grandmother’s pain, and the changes that seemed so hard to understand. My mother was scared. My grandmother was scared. They knew she was dying but they didn’t want her to suffer. Someone called Hospice of Michigan. No one really knew a lot about hospice then. it was just a word with good feelings attached. The hospice nurse came to my great grandmother’s house, she explained everything. She told us what to expect. She knew how to manage the pain. I remember watching the fear leave my mother’s face. It was a good day because everyone seemed to sigh in relief.