The Role of Hospice and Palliative Care When Someone We Love Is Sick or Dying
By Linda Goldberg
How do we help those we love prepare for death? And how do we help ourselves prepare to lose someone we love? This conversation addresses these questions and many more. It discusses how we can honour the wishes of the dying, if and when to have ‘last’ conversations and how changing our perspective on this next stage of the neshoma’s journey does not mean we won’t still grieve.

A recommendation from Linda is to listen to the famous song Neshomele, written and sung by Abie Rotenberg and recorded on the Journeys II album. It gives a beautiful understanding to the journey of a soul. Please refer to the lyrics below.

Come with me, little Neshomele,
Let me hold you in my hand,
And we’ll fly away, you and I together,
To a place down on the land.
Come with me, little Neshomele,
Don’t shy away, do as you’re told
There’s a little child, waiting to be born today
You’re to be his spark, his soul.

CHORUS 1:
But dear Malachel, no, I don’t want to go,
There is so much pain and evil, upon the earth below,
Let me stay here up in heaven, where it’s safe and I’ll be pure,
Please don’t make me go away, can’t you see I’m so afraid.

VERSE 2:
Come with me, little Neshomele,
It’s time you faced your destiny,
As we fly beneath the clouds now, I will show you,
There is so much you can be.

CHORUS 2:
Yes, dear Malachel, I can see Kedusha over there
Look- someone’s learning Torah, there’s another deep in prayer
I will stay here if you answer me, it’s all I need to know
You must promise me dear friend, that I too will be like them.

VERSE 3:
Come with me, little Neshomele
Oh it’s a task that I must do
As I tap you on the lip, you will forget me
You’re on your own, it’s up to you.
Come with me, little Neshomele
Let me hold you in my hand
And we’ll fly away, you and I together
To a place above the land.

CHORUS 3:
But dear Malachel, no, I don’t want to go,
I’m not ready to go with you, where you take me, I don’t know
Let me stay right where I am, there’s so much more I need to do
Please don’t make me go away, can’t you see I’m so afraid.

VERSE 4:
Come with me, little Neshomele,
I’ve only come to take you home,
There is no need to fear your destination,
You’ve earned a place right by the throne
A place right by the throne.

Linda Goldberg
Linda trained at North Manchester General Hospital in the early 80's and since then has worked in many specialty areas, including hospital and community care in the UK and Israel. Her passion is working in oncology and palliative care and sees her work not just as essential but an absolute privilege. She is currently working as an interim manager and clinical lead at Sage nursing home in London. Linda is available to help and answer questions you may have relating to oncology and palliative care and can be contacted via the organisations Bikur Cholim.