A couple of years ago, while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off as an under resourced hospital based palliative care physician, my friend Natalia Sobota, palliative care social worker, directed my attention to something I was missing. As the months and years flowed by, so did the lives and deaths of hundreds of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives. I estimate that we have cared for more than 1500 human beings over these last eight years that have died. Our memories were spotty and overwhelmed by each story and Natalia pointed out that we had no ritual of remembrance.
That changed when my daughter, Bella, joined me to build a piece of art for the wall in the tiny hospital palliative care office. My son, Max, named it the “Spirit Gate”, and for two years we hung a stone for each person that completed their life under our care.
At the launch of ResolutionCare in January of 2014, we knew we needed to do something similar.
So we built the “Spirit Tree” at the ResolutionCare office. Whenever one of our people dies, we acknowledge who they were to us and what they taught us, and we hang a stone in remembrance.
As we begin our second year, we have to get a new tree. You are welcome to visit.