Being in transit and in transition. The experience of time at the place, when living with severe incurable disease - a phenomenological study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The aim of this study is to describe the experience of time as it presents itself at the place being situated when living with severe incurable disease and receiving palliative care. The empirical data consist of 26 open-ended interviews with 23 patients receiving palliative care at home, at a palliative day care; in a palliative bed unite in hospital or in a nursing home in Norway. A common meaning of a shifting space for living emerged from the analysis and was revealed through three different aspects: (i) Transition from a predictable to an unpredictable time: To live with severe incurable disease marks a transition to a changed life involving an ongoing weakened and altered body with bothersome symptoms making experience of time different and unpredictable. (ii) Transition between a safe and unsafe time: When time is unpredictable, feeling safe is revealed as essential to how time is experienced at the place being situated. (iii) To be in transition from a homely to a homeless existence. In a time of increased bodily weakness, unpredictable ailments and displacements the sense of belonging to the place is revealed as significant to the experience of time. Not knowing where to be in a time of change is like an existential cry of distress where the foothold in existence is lost. The findings are discussed and interpreted as an embodied experience originating from the passage of time continually affecting life sometimes so fundamentally that it marks a transition to a changed space of life that is reflected in the experience of time.