In last week’s column, I mentioned the Golden Season™ at end of life. This week, I thought I’d expand more on that concept so you’ll have a better idea of what I’m referring to.
An old trauma nurse, I’m familiar with the urgency instilled into the “Golden Hour“—the sixty minutes that immediately follow a traumatic injury. When appropriate treatment is provided within this critical time frame, patients usually have better outcomes overall.
Along those same lines, I’ve seen the significant difference in quality of life individuals often experience during what I refer to as the Golden Season™ at end of life.
When someone is given a diagnosis of a terminal illness in some context, curative treatment may no longer be recommended, and a patient may be told there’s nothing more that can be done.
At this point, it’s not uncommon for feelings of hopelessness and despair to move in.
For depression to set up shop and wait for the end.
However, when viewed in a different light, I believe this can be a turning point into one of the most sacred seasons of our lives: the Golden Season™ at end of life.
The season in which a person embraces the time left with a determination to really make the most of it.
To make wishes known so everyone can be on the same page about what is and isn’t wanted in terms of care.
To approach life with an authenticity and passion that perhaps they’ve never before experienced.
To be open and honest, sharing their love for others by expressing it more freely.
To heal relationships by asking for forgiveness and offering it.
To savor each moment and create lasting memories together.
And most of all, to prepare spiritually for the journey ahead.
In the many patients I’ve cared for throughout my nursing career, those facing end of life have been some of my favorites.
After all, there’s a new urgency when you know your time is limited.
An authenticity that cuts to the chase.
A determination to focus on who and what is most important.
A fresh perspective that may even embrace clarity about prognosis as a gift.
A gift that helps a person reassess and focus their priorities to make the most of the time remaining.
To me, that’s the Golden Season™ at end of life—and there can be many treasures waiting there.
Feature photo by James Pritchett on Unsplash.