Hospice as an Answer to Ecocide
A deeply felt response to the ongoing crisis we face as a planet, at once personal as well as with insight into the challenges ahead for us all. To quote Kenn regarding hospice, “It speaks the language of kindness, mercy and compassion to a world glaringly bereft of all three. It generously applies a healing balm to the wounds inflicted by injustice, cruelty and war. In no way is this “giving up.” On the contrary, it is a resounding battle cry against the death machine of industrial civilization.”
When I started working with the terminally ill over 20 years ago I had not made the connection between the hospice approach to individual human suffering at the end of life and that of our embattled and dying ecosystem. I first encountered the idea of viewing the earth, and all who inhabit it, on hospice when I began reading the work of Guy Mcpherson, professor emeritus of natural resources and the environment at the University of Arizona, and the writings of author Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. I now see the same patterns of misery, denial, angst, terror, empathy, alienation and actualization that define our own personal response to grief mirrored in our collective condition as a species. And I have come to believe that this model is the best response to the catastrophe of climate change, mass species extinction and the self-destructive nature of industrial civilization.
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