As someone who has spent decades working in hospice care, it's hard to watch the judgements on the internet about Bobby Brown being demonized for having the audacity to work or have lunch while his daughter is in hospice.
Let's clear up some of the myths and misconceptions about hospice.
Myth #1: Hospice is for the last hours or days of life.
Truth: Hospice is for the last six months of life. Many people get additional time once they're on hospice and their symptoms and pain are managed.
Myth #2: The moment they take you off the respirator, you die.
Truth: People live for minutes, hours, days and even longer after the respirator has been disconnected. That's why it's important for families to understand that there's a part of this out of our hands.
Myth #3: We can predict exactly when someone's going to die.
Truth: Clearly Bobby Kristina's situation has shown that one to be a myth. Death is quick, dying can be slow. It is hard to predict when someone has just a few hours or days. The human body and spirit often surprise us.
Myth #4: When a loved one is on hospice you must immediately stop activities of daily living including work and sit by their side.
Truth: For most families this is impossible. Obligations don't cease. We still have our bills to pay. No one gives us free rent or pays our expenses because our loved one is in hospice. Your job and other obligations still continue.
Myth #5: A loving family member sits by their side all the time.
Truth: Besides obligations, loving family members need to take breaks. Breaks are healthy. Often, family members alternate who is at the bedside.
So let's all take a deep breath and give Bobbi Kristina's family a little compassion in this challenging time
Most people who have gone through the hospice experience will understand the concept of prediction and waiting is much harder than we think. For those of you who have experienced hospice, I would love to hear your comments below.