As Pastor I walked this path with lots of people. Our churches walk this path with folks many times a year. It is a noble path, but a difficult one to walk. The family's entire focus is on the one who is leaving. Time away, time to be "normal", time to think of other things are very important. I have discovered (yes, I'm aware it is a cat, but I am suddenly playing nurse as well as being her human) that one of the nicest things we might offer to hospice caregivers is either to go grocery shopping for them, or to offer to sit while they go. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but I'm in the middle of it for just a short time, and yes, with "just a cat", so I can be in the middle and still have some perspective.
Death, O God, is a part of life. It is a part we often dread, and work very hard to avoid, but it is something we all face both in those we love and in ourselves. Help us to face these times with grace, and to have the courage to walk with others as they face them. The Psalmist reminds us that there is no place we can go that you aren't already there, and that even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death you are there. Let that knowledge bring us peace in all the hard times of life...............Amen.