Supporting You and Your Loved One in Their End-of-Life Journey
If your loved one has been terminally ill and is turning a corner, possibly approaching death, you’re probably feeling anxious, scared and insecure about their needs and how to help.
I help reduce your chaos and fears and improve your loved one’s comfort so they can die in a peaceful environment ♥
If you’re losing sleep or don’t feel “up to the task” in taking care of your loved ones needs, I want you to know that you CAN create a setting for your loved one’s peaceful passage through the dying process.
I can help you understand what your loved one needs, so that you, yourself, have peace in this precious (but sometimes difficult) journey.
As much as it can be hard to lose a loved one, it can also be a Sacred and beautiful time in which your Beloved has a foot in two worlds, one in this world, and one in the next. With an experienced guide – someone who can hold this space for you – family members find they can be more present with their loved one and enjoy those remaining days/weeks rather than feeling confused about ‘what to do.’
If you’re feeling unprepared for a loved one’s dying process and time is passing quickly, I want to give you hope! It’s ok that you feel out-of-your-league as a caregiver and possibly ‘freaked out’ about what’s coming. I know how to come in and help!
If your loved one lives out-of-town from your place of residence I can help there too. With a phone call (or on Zoom) you can gain more peace of mind to move forward.
“Jean Oswald was a hospice nurse for my mother as she spent her final few days at home before passing on. Jean’s calm and confident expertise as a nurse for my mother and knowing how to make her comfortable seemed to be second nature to her. She instinctively knew when to reposition her, help her drink or eat, and when to give pain medication. My family and I were greatly comforted knowing that my mother was being made as comfortable as possible during that time. My mother wanted nothing more than to be at home at the end of her life, and having Jean there with us gave our family the confidence we needed to bring her home. I honestly don’t think her last few days at home could have been as calm and special as they were if we didn’t have the excellent care for her that Jean provided. I would highly recommend Jean”.
“You’re phenomenal in this work Jean. There’s an authenticity about you and genuineness in the way you offer as much as others want and are willing to accept, and step back when that’s necessary. You’re so gifted at it. There was a comfort level I felt when you would come into the room – anything that should arise, an emergency, a question, a medical concern, you were qualified to handle it with calm and ease.
I appreciated being able to ask you questions about stuff like the ‘death rattle’ for example, and when mom was unconscious, asking what happens when the time gets close and there’s clearly no going back.. There was something like a ‘cocoon feeling’ we had. I would very much like to be in a situation like that when it’s my time. I think it’s the holiest way to die; to be in a situation where you are so cared for. It’s truly holy work.
Your greatest gift to me was being present and that’s something I think most people don’t understand; just sitting with me and talking about what I was feeling and experiencing and anticipating. You do it automatically in your work all the time when you’re interacting with people. I think your vast experience and you naturally being Jean Oswald just allow you to be present like that all the time with people and it’s an incredible gift. Wow. You’ve made an impact on me for life.”
“Jean, my sincere appreciation for all you did to help Mom and all of us over her last months, especially. While it was difficult for us, our family felt comforted and at peace, just having you present while she transitioned from hospitals to home. You always knew what to do to provide care for her and guide us. You helped us experience love and peace during her last days and moments. I am most appreciative that Mom passed peacefully. What a sacred time for us all. Your knowledge, skill, demeanor, and heart made all the difference. Thinking back, I can’t even imagine what we would have done without you. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Jean, we truly appreciate your swift response and the loving care you provided to Dottie and all of us in our time of need. Thanks to your kind advice, she slipped peacefully away. You are an angel.”
“Jean has been an indispensable resource for our family in all aspects of our brother’s difficult health journey. She is tremendously qualified and experienced as a nurse of course, but her emotional intelligence towards and empathy for her patients and their families is what makes her a truly special part of our “team.” She is able to ask the appropriate questions and anticipate the next steps with the medical and administrative professionals, and then interpret that for us, all while remembering that the family member who is the patient is the most important touchstone for decisions. We would never have been able to manage the information coming from different doctors and providers from afar without her guidance, she has been a godsend! Our brother feels more comfortable knowing she is part of all of our conversations, and that is the most important factor of all.”
“Jean has been a Nurse Advocate for my father these past 5 years as his health has declined.
I knew his Diabetes was uncontrolled and his kidneys were affected, but I didn’t understand all his medical issues. When dad’s doctors used medical terminology that I’ve never heard, Jean explained a lot of things in detail so I could understand what was happening with him.
At first, he lived alone in an apartment but as time went by it was getting too hard for him to take care of himself and he started falling. Jean helped us get him into Assisted Living. She went to appointments with my dad and talked to his doctors which relieved some of my stress and concerns regarding him. That was a very big help and she made it feel a lot more comfortable.
I know my dad is really thankful to have her on his side helping him. We both are. She definitely advocated for him. If she weren’t involved – Oh my god – I don’t know what I would do.”
When someone you love is nearing the end of their life you’ll probably find yourself putting the brakes on every other part of your life so you can be with them. This is a unique and often emotional time for you. If this has all moved swiftly, you want more time with a loved one, even if you believe he or she ‘will be going’ to a better place. If they have been sick for a long time and seem to be lingering here, you wonder why. We never have a magic eight ball with those answers but we always start with where you are.
When you’re faced with questions regarding where this loved one can spend their final days, who will be ‘doing’ the caregiving and how to make them comfortable so they can die peacefully, I can break down some of the complex language and explain options for your loved ones. I’ve often found that families hesitate to ask about hospice because it frightens them that ‘the end is near,’ but at the right time, I can help you understand the reasons for initiating Hospice and give you extra support.
So I encourage you to seek someone like myself, with qualifications and experience. In my years of giving bedside care and supporting families on this journey, I’ve gained the skills to know what is needed and how to get those needs met so the dying person has more comfort and family members feel more relaxed in being the daughter or son or spouse. We simply start with a conversation about how your loved one is doing today.
Let’s chat to see if I can help:
Jean Oswald RN
I am an energetic 64 yr old woman, a Mother, Wife, and seasoned Registered Nurse. My Religion is Kindness.
I was born into a large family with many siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. My Catholic upbringing gave me respect for life. Life experience opened me to all the world’s religions and people. I work on active listening to the stories and issues that marginalized people face everywhere, knowing that my white privilege has sheltered me. I know that we are all connected and I want to lift others up.
I married young and birthed five children who are now through college and into fulfilling careers. Their father – my former husband and dear friend – died suddenly at the start of Covid and although I feel that loss deeply, I keep him alive every day. I fell in love with a woman in my late thirties and we’ve been together almost 25 years. I know that relationships are the hardest work we do no matter who we do it with.
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Once or twice a month I’ll email a newsletter on topics like: family conversations, legacy letters, dying at home, how to speak with your doctor, clarifying your wishes, allowing natural death’ and more. Sign up here if you’re interested.