Finding peace through faith and hospice
Posted by Diane Klick, Massage Therapist
Our clinical team cared for a wonderful hospice patient in McHenry County who lived in a little wooden cabin house, directly on the lakefront. Every person on our team said it was a dream house, directly on the water with a sandy beach and a fire pit right outside the front door.
The only thing was, Gabe was dying and alone inside this home. He no longer could even walk down the steep lawn to the lake anymore, not without assistance.
From the first time I met Gabe, however, he was vibrant, smiling and seemed so happy despite his HIV diagnosis and a long list of accompanying symptoms. He credited his positive outlook to his religious faith, sharing that he felt he found God after his diagnosis. Gabe said his faith made all the difference in his life now and his tables were covered with books about Jesus and self-help.
During my first visit as his massage therapist, I massaged his swollen legs and feet and his sore back, and Gabe kept thanking me over and over.
A week after we met, Gabe was transferred to our Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington for symptom control and to stabilize his diabetes, which he was unable to accurately do alone at home anymore.
I visited him a second time, now at the CareCenter. Gabe was suffering from a fever and other symptoms, yet he was still in good spirits, kindness radiated from his core. I helped warm him with heated blankets, gave him a massage, made him hot tea and we even went outside to soak up the sun. I used music as well, to calm his light tremors and soothe him.
Again, Gabe thanked me over and over and thanked “all these wonderful people here helping me at this beautiful facility!”
“The Lord is so good to me!” he added.
I turned to him and said, “You know Gabe, its all of us who want to thank you, for coming to us and into our lives with your handsome smile and grace and radiant kindness.”
He just laughed and smiled even more.
As I left our visit that day, I leaned over to Gabe and whispered, “You are beautiful, you are whole, and you are at peace, dear Gabe.”
The next day he was gone and our whole team was surprised by how quickly his illness advanced. But we were comforted by our belief that Gabe had gone home to the Lord he loved so much and was now experiencing the same joy he had brought to us.