Thank you. Can two short words mean as much as we want them to? I hope so. Though Bruns House cared for my father-in-law, Jim Heskes, for barely 24 hours it was a remarkable, moving and comforting experience for his two children (Joan and Scott) and myself. Together with his three grandchildren, we were all present when he died last Friday evening. Literally from the moment we came through the front door, there was a transformation in all of us—including Jim. We felt understood, comforted and taken care of. We went from fighting with the medical system to being a beneficiary of the kind of remarkable care the system should render at every stage of life.
Every person we came in contact with, from Darbi through each of the nurses and other caretakers, was compassionate, comforting, and caring. Each did a most remarkable job of not only providing medical care, but also guidance about the process of dying. The education and information offered to the family was of immense value. And the level of attentiveness to and respect for Jim by everyone at Bruns House was evident at every turn, and helped us all know that he was well taken care of whether or not we were there. It was a shining example of all that hospice care can and should be.
It is difficult to fully express our admiration for the work everyone at Bruns House does. It cannot be an easy task to deal on a daily basis with the many emotions accompanying people’s deaths, and the impact of those passings on family and friends. Yet every person who helped us listened carefully, and responded with warmth and concern. There was never a sense that it was just a job, or that anyone was simply putting in their hours. We realized that each caregiver is there because he or she chooses to be a caregiver in that environment and because they have wonderful, unique and invaluable human relations skills as well as medical knowledge.
We have asked that our family and friends direct donations to Bruns House in Jim’s memory, and we as a family will be making a donation as well. It is a small token of our appreciation for what all of you do, and the excellence with which you do it.
On behalf of the family, thank you. It’s just two words, but we hope they mean a lot.