Family, Comfort, Peace
This is Joseph, Jacob, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, Tabitha and their mom, Sharon. It’s a lovely family photo, but an abnormal one. To the left is the MJHS social worker who helped them do something no family should have to. She helped them cope with the fact that their son and brother, Jonathan, only nine years old, was dying of cancer.
The whole MJHS Hospice team played a critical role in helping all of them, Sharon says. The social worker, Khatima, brought in the MJHS Creative Arts Therapist. Matthew had the kids make puppets, thumbprints, and Jonathan’s favorite … trains. Via the art, he had them releasing feelings they shouldn’t bear alone, and holding on to feelings, like happiness, they should. He encouraged them to share their art with Jonathan when he grew too weak to participate, so he would remain engaged.
MJHS pediatric hospice nurse Wanda was another “blessing,” says Sharon. “She made sure everything was in place.” She fed Jonathan when he resisted. With a doctor’s aid, she kept him pain-free. Seeing he was “getting ready,” Wanda arranged for everything Jonathan needed so that Sharon could focus on her son. Sharon wanted all of the children to be together when the time came, so that Jonathan could die unafraid.
That is what happened. After five months of hospice, Jonathan died in his mother’s arms surrounded by the siblings he loved so much.