Honoring The Difficult

The first time I met Grace she was sitting in the music room, her eyes closed, her lips quivering to the lyrics of “Be Thou My Vision.” It was late afternoon, the time the nursing assistants felt it would be best for me to see Grace, before her behavior changed and she refused any company. Grace had fired her doctor, whom she’d known for more than 25 years but no longer recognized. She also fired the next doctor, with whom her daughter had worked for 15 years and Grace had sat next to at her daughter’s wedding. And she had fired the nurse practitioner who specialized in geriatric care and with whom she seemed to have made a connection, convinced that her husband Roger and the rest of the family were plotting to get rid of her and leave her to die in the assisted living facility against her will.

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