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The Tiniest Goodbye

I picked up a package today amid a workday of visiting my hospice patients. Both the box and the paw print were so much smaller than what I am used to, compassionately handed over with a mask muffled “I'm so sorry for your loss.” As I tucked them safely away, I could only think how appropriate it was to pick up a set of tiny cremains during this week.  I have said so often to so many parents of adult children “It’s not the right order in life to outlive your child.”   Since taking on an occasional pediatric hospice case, this has never been more true.   There never is an easy time to lose a child, but it’s especially tragic and poignant to face the death of a minor child. I had been caring for an older pediatric patient before receiving a call from our amazing pediatric palliative care team based out of Portland, planning for the potential admission of a very tiny patient. In hospice care, a bare fraction of patients cared for are pediatric. However, life threatening diseases and c

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