Are we at the point of our greatest need
when we are at the point of our own death?
As Freemasons we contemplate being
summoned from this sublunary abode to the
Grand Lodge Above, but do we consider the
How will we face the grim reaper
personally? Who will help those left behind
and who is there to help us face our personal
journey? The hospice movement is there to
help. Last year the Grand Charity recognised
this with gifts totalling £500,000 to 217
Unlike hospitals, hospices do not seek
to cure, but rather enable people who are
facing the end of their life to live every
moment to the full and free from pain.
They provide what is called ‘holistic care’
to patients who are dying, addressing the
needs of the whole person, physical,
emotional and spiritual.
The aim is to provide a level of care that
achieves the best quality of life for patients
and their families, including bereavement
help if required. While the average length
of stay in a hospice may only be three weeks,
in that time some can live a lifetime, with
the personal freedom to move towards their
own aims, which might include resolving
long-standing family problems.
The original hospices can be traced back
to Fabiola, a fourth century Roman who
opened her home to fulfil the Christian
works of mercy: feeding the hungry and
thirsty, visiting the sick and prisoners,
clothing the naked and welcoming strangers.
At that time the word “hospis” meant
both host and guest and “hospitium” a
place where hospitality was given and the
relationships that arose. That emphasis is still
central to hospice care today. While none
were specifically to care for the dying, they
welcomed people to stay for as long as
they needed help.
The Duchess of Cornwall
visits Trinity Hospice
Web site created by Mark Griffin