Creating Sacred Space in Life and Death

Amy Ziettlow, Huffington Post, 3/10/2011

In hospice care, we often use the image of the butterfly for the journey that our patients and their loved ones take. The butterfly symbolizes the journey of transformation from one expression of life into another, but also emphasis the importance of the home. Without the safety and support of the cocoon, transformation would not be possible.

The majority of the hospice patients we serve live and die in the comforts of their homes: their cocoons. Rearranging must be done at times to make room for new items that offer comfort and support to those facing varying stages of transformation from this life into the next. Walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, and so on are added to the home decor. We add necessary items incrementally and with as much grace as possible. Subtle arranging occurs in order to keep furniture as spatially normal as possible since the placement of furniture can be quite comforting.

Subjects: Death/dying, Family

More by: Amy Ziettlow

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