See the World While You Can
As a hospice volunteer, the author tries to view death as natural, not as tragic, but also as personal and not merely as a statistic. However, some people he had known have faced unusually tragic circumstances. All of the hospice patients with significant pain that the author had known have had pain medications prescribed on an "round-the-clock" (RTC) basis. Some also have had pain medications prescribed on a prn basis for “break through” pain, i.e., pain that overcomes the RTC medication regimen. One of the author's hospice patients could not understand why she did not die with him. She told the author to “see the world while you can. You never know what might happen.” However, the obituary of the patient did not mention her plans to see the world, her love of roses or bridge, or her passion for music. In the paper, in black, white, and gray, she appeared to be another statistic.