Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Ruth and why is this project named as such?
Ruth was the dear mother of Sandy, co-founder of The Wisdom Of Ruth. Over the course of her life, Ruth imparted her wisdom to her family in many ways. Ruth often expressed worries and concerns for her family. When Ruth learned that she, herself, was dying, the message she gave her family was most positive and inspiring. Ruth helped her family deal with the sadness of her impending death, which led to a renewed appreciation of how wise she was. Ruth's comment?
"You know, dying is part of living!"

What does it mean, "Dying is part of living?"
For the patient, nearing the end of one's natural life may be viewed as another of life's transitions. Aren't you still living? You are alive and part of life! Your disease may be beyond cure, but you are still here. Perhaps more than ever, you want to take advantage of the time that is ahead. This likely includes living as free from pain and discomfort as possible, having meaningful time with loved ones, mending fences if necessary, being of the moment, and enjoying life as much as possible.

For the patient's family, this transition includes enjoying this significant person in their life, sharing appreciation of what their loved one means to them, mending fences, and reuniting the family.

For medical caregivers, care continues through this stage by making the last months of living as comfortable as possible, knowing that they are supporting and "giving life" to their patient to the very end.

What are you trying to get across?
Until you are truly gone, you are here and ALIVE. Everyone, including the medical caregivers, the patient, and the family, needs to make that remaining time as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Live for the moment, take advantage of what you are able to do and enjoy.

How can having an end-of-life conversation make a difference?
For the medical team, having this conversation allows them to make sure the patient understands the prognosis and plan of treatment. The conversation allows the team to assure the patient that the care will continue, even when additional medical treatment will not extend the patient's life. Medical team members have greater effectiveness and job satisfaction when they understand they don't have to "abandon" the patient. They can focus on both medical and emotional care that provide benefit.

For the patient, the conversation allows them to act on what is most important to them. The conversation alleviates confusion and help bring consensus regarding "what comes next" among themselves, their family, and the medical caregivers. It also enables the patient to concentrate on living the rest of their days comfortably and as pain free as possible, and take advantage of life with family and friends.

For the family, the conversation helps them understand and appreciate what their loved one's course is likely to be, and allows them to discover and support their loved one's wishes. Families are comforted by knowing that despite not wanting to lose their loved one, this is what their loved one has determined is best for them. The family can then refocus their attention and be a support to their loved one to live the rest of their life as fully as possible.

Subpages (2): FAQs, page 2 FAQs, page 3