Death Doesn’t Always Go To Plan
A story about Emma Frame’s journey with Waipuna Hospice.
Death doesn’t always go to plan.
However, thanks to your support Waipuna Hospice is there no matter what.
Every dollar you donate helps us care for the terminally ill and bereaved in your community.
Your support makes our care possible, and it means the world to people like Emma.
Emma Frame’s mother Robina Simpson – known as ‘Rona’- was diagnosed with cancer and given 12 months to live. However, life, or death, had other plans.
Rona was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2013 after experiencing swelling. “Mum’s cancer started from cirrhosis of the liver, which had resulted from Hepatitis C. Mum had been a nurse all her life, so it was hard to determine exactly where she’d picked up Hep C,” says Emma.
“She hid it so well. When I look back I think she was trying to protect us but I think she must have been feeling like absolute rubbish for some time before she received her diagnosis.”
Rona was given 12 months to live. However, she passed away only three months later at just 58.
“Mum and I spent a lot of time together during her last few months,” says Emma.
“During that time, she would go out and visit Waipuna Hospice about once a week at least.”
“Mum was an aged care facility nurse, so in a way, she knew what was happening to her. When she visited Waipuna Hospice, she would pop in and have a chat with the staff, discuss what was happening, have a cup of tea and get the support she needed. It was amazing for her to be able to do that.”
Meanwhile, Emma and her husband Tim had booked a European OE… “and Mum was adamant that we still go.”
“Of course, we thought she had longer than she did. A few days prior to us leaving, Mum was discharged from the hospital and she looked amazing. She was glowing and looked the best I had seen her for months.”
“She dropped us off at the Airport and said ‘goodbye’, then 24 hours later she died. We weren’t there,” reflects Emma, who was 25 at the time.
It wasn’t until a year later that Emma discovered her Mum didn’t die alone. A Waipuna Hospice nurse was with her when she died.
“I felt so at peace knowing that she wasn’t alone when she died and that Waipuna Hospice was there. If I couldn’t be, then I couldn’t think of anyone better to have been with her in her last moments than a hospice nurse.”
Emma says what stood out to her the most about Waipuna Hospice’s care was the support they offered her when she returned home.
“When Mum died we continued on our trip – which was really hard, but was the right thing to do and what she’d have wanted us to do.”
“When we got back the continued support from Waipuna Hospice was amazing.”
“You know, when someone close to you dies, like your Mum, everyone around you has a short grieving period with you, and then they move on.”
“But I can’t. I will be grieving for Mum for the rest of my life. Knowing that Waipuna Hospice doesn’t move on, that they are always there if we need them, is just incredible.”
“It’s really nice to know that you’re not on your own,” says Emma, who believes people who haven’t been connected to a hospice possibly don’t realise the extent of the support hospice provides to families.
“I will do anything I can do to help hospice, and raise the profile of the incredible work that they do, because the service they provide is invaluable – I can’t even put it into words.”