I am Judith Hart and I’d like to share with you a little about my experience with “Dying At Home.”
I first met Dr. Helen-Anne and Gerard Manion in the early 90s here at Bundeena. My GP had asked on a few occasions if I could help out with a family in his care because they were caring for a dying loved one at home – my background being nursing – he told me about the wonderful work. “These” people Dr. Helen Anne & Gerard were doing.
It struck a deep chord as we had chosen to care for my father in law at home, until he died peacefully surrounded by family.
During this time friends had dropped by with children, or dropped in a meal or a cake, sent flowers, cards or a phone calls just to send love and let the family know they were thinking of us while every day life continued in the house. We all took turns during the night to sit with him and others rested. One night he just wanted to see the stars.
Twenty years on from this meeting we are here again – sadly Gerard is not here with us physically but his guiding gentle encouraging presence in “Dying At Home” is clearly felt.
Their vision of Dying At Home being loved care for and supported by family friends and the community is a “life giving” experience – Death being just another part of life – an opportunity to give back some “love.”
I have had the privilege over these last decades to be with friends and family as they have died and apart from the support offered, practical ways to care for our loved ones are vitally important.
Helen-Anne and Gerard put together books on how to “Care.” They are available to download free to use with the program.
On one occasion I am particularly reminded of the help they were to my friend of many years – Mary – Our story is featured in this video.