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Edith Celebrated Life Surrounded by Family

At 95, Edith still drove, took aerobics classes regularly, and played bridge four or five times a week. She also loved a party. For her 95th birthday, 65 friends and relatives—some coming from as far away as Texas and Florida—joined Edith for a celebration at her Cincinnati-area church, followed by a family dinner.

"Mom loved celebrations! Anniversaries, birthdays, any excuse for a get-together! She was a people person," said her daughter, June.

Ten days after the birthday celebration, Edith was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. She accepted death just as she celebrated life, according to June.

Her doctor suggested hospice care in her own home, and Edith didn't hesitate. Her husband, who died 14 years earlier, had received hospice care, too. When she was being released from the hospital, the nurses tried to assure her she'd be fine, and, June recalls, "she said, ‘No, I'm going home to die and I'm okay with that and you should be too.'"

Hospice care allowed June's mother to live her last few weeks just as she wished—celebrating life

The hospice team manager told Edith that she could be reached within 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. "It was much appreciated that we knew we could always reach the hospice team manager," said June. "The chaplain came and the nurse came three times a week. Mom was given medicine when she requested it so she could be pain free.”

"Mom called her friends to say her goodbyes," recalls June. "The family descended on her and she enjoyed every minute of it. Not many people can stage their own death and dying parties, but she did. She'd say, ‘Now today we're going to give away all the costume jewelry, the scarves, purses, and even the cars.' She loved seeing us as the recipients of her lifelong generosity." June said hospice care allowed her mother to live her last few weeks just as she wished—celebrating life.

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