A Welcoming Reflection at HPCO by Maureen Russell

A Welcoming Reflection at HPCO by Maureen Russell

It is always a treat to hear Maureen speak, and this year at the HPCO conference, it was no exception. Here are her words, for you all to enjoy.

“Good morning and welcome to this day!

It is so great to be together. I said that yesterday, but it is worth saying again.

There is a feeling here – an energy that can only be experienced in person. And it’s good!

It is the power of community – the power of the collective whole.”

“It’s what happens when we show up for one another.”

“As I wandered around the conference yesterday seeing people greet each other with such enthusiasm, with hugs and smiles and a true sense of joy, and it moved my heart. Because that feel, that magic is who we are in HPC, and we can’t ever lose that. We can’t ever lose our humanity.

Dying and death are human experiences, and it’s sacred work that we do. There is no replay for the families and individuals we support.

This tangible energy or magic or whatever we want to call it is the core of HPC. It’s what allows us to show up and be fully present, with dignity and with an open heart, and step into the messiness of dying and death.

It’s what allows us to be there when families are told: ‘there are no options, no choices left.’

But HPC is a choice, and often the more dignified one.

It’s what allows us to be there when people are told there is no hope.”

No hope, they say? But we are the masters of redefining hope!

“I heard someone say, ‘if only we could bottle that feeling, that energy of HPC, and share it with those still trying to figure out who we are.’

It made me think, what would the label on that bottle say? It would say: Humanity. Active ingredients: Dignity, Compassion, Care, and Love. And when turned over, the bottle would say: Keep within reach of children.”

                                                                                                                      -Thank you, Maureen Russell

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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