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An open letter from a hospice nurse to a new hospice patient

Dear friend writing small - An open letter from a hospice nurse to a new hospice patient

By Christina Lauer, RN

Dear Friend,

I know it seems strange that I am already calling you my friend since we haven’t even met yet, but you will find out soon that we will have an unbreakable bond and impact each other’s lives in wonderful ways.

We are about to take a journey together. I promise to respect, nurture, and honor you, your family and your loved ones along the way. I understand that this journey is sacred and personal, and I am so honored that you are allowing me to be part of it.

I know there are some perceptions about nurses, including that we do a lot of poking and prodding, and that we’ll try just about anything to get you to take a pill. But hospice is a gentler, different kind of care. To begin with, as your hospice nurse, I will come to you and care for you right where you are, at any time, day or night. You will not have to leave your home.

I will be with you through this journey as much or as little as you want. I will help you and your loved ones understand the illness you are courageously battling and prepare you for obstacles that may be ahead. If you have pain, anxiety or other discomforts, I will help ease them with the support and expertise of the Harbor Hospice medical staff, social workers, and chaplains. And while we will be your team, you will direct your care. Whatever we do to help you will be centered on your wants, your needs and your goals.

I will be your advocate throughout your journey. When you need someone to laugh with, cry with, or hold your hand, I will be with you, and I will reassure you that you have the support of an amazing team of hospice professionals.

I hope you find peace in knowing how important your quality of life is to me and to the entire Harbor Hospice team. Working together, we will go above and beyond to meet your needs.

Accepting hospice care may not have been an easy decision for you or your loved ones. You may feel it means you have given up, but your decision is a measure of your courage to move into the next and last chapter of your life. You inspire us, and I promise to make this important time for you be the best it can be. I look forward to being your partner in your journey.


Christina Lauer, RN,

Homecare Case Manager

Article published in Senior Perspectives November-December 2021 Issue (distributed and published by Senior Resources)


About the author

Lauer Christina RN 5.7.18 small - An open letter from a hospice nurse to a new hospice patient


Christina has worked with Harbor Hospice for more than three years and is a homecare case manager for hospice patients in Muskegon and Norton Shores. She received an associate’s degree of nursing from Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne in 2015 and has worked as a staff nurse in geriatric care at a skilled nursing facility and at Mercy Hospital.  

Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care is committed to alleviating patients’ symptoms and providing choices to help the patient achieve optimum well-being. For almost four decades, Harbor Hospice has provided experienced, compassionate end-of-life care for terminally ill patients and their families, focusing on medical, emotional, and spiritual needs regardless of ability to pay. Serving residents of lakeshore West Michigan, their team of professionals and volunteers connect patients and families with resources to align their goals of comfort and improved quality of life.

Learn more at or by calling 231.728.3442 / 1.800.497.9559.

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