The Perks of Hospice: Stories of Love, Life, and Loss


Linda Moran and her husband were married for almost forty-five years. For over two years, including through the pandemic, they were cared for by an amazing team of hospice workers. To carry out her husband’s love of helping others, Linda decided to write about their experiences and included checklists about end-of-life care for readers. After thirty-plus years as a public school teacher, from earth science to history to mathematics, she’s facing a different retirement than planned, with writing, quilting, reading, and solo travel.

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When her husband’s health began its serious decline after open heart surgery, Linda Moran was prepared to support him through a challenging recovery that included a stroke and speech aphasia. But as Dean pinballed from one medical crisis to another, the couple encountered unexpected obstacles from the medical/healthcare system itself. Ultimately nine specialists in Dean’s care either didn’t keep them informed of new protocols, or the doctors didn’t communicate with each other, leading to contradictory care instructions.

After two years of chaos, Dean received a referral for hospice care—which meant that he wasn’t expected to live for more than six months. Though the prognosis was devastating, hospice brought many surprising benefits: Help navigating a broken system. Spiritual counseling. The freedom to be fully present in life. And an opportunity to make Dean’s remaining time what he wanted it to be.

Filled with intimate personal stories, as well as practical checklists for those facing a similar journey, The Perks of Hospice shows us how the end of life can be so much more than an ending.

Married for almost forty-five years, Dean and Linda Moran did everything together, especially in their two decades as fiber artists, experimenting with an ancient paper process on fabric. Their art provided a needed respite from medical reality and helped them create a lasting legacy at the end of their lives together.


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