A Love Story of Strength and Support: Lloyd and Linda’s Journey with Hospice Care

Lloyd and Linda Stoll smiling at one another.She was a special lady. The fact that she married me was special,” expressed Lloyd Stoll as he reminisced on the 50-year-long love story he shared with his late wife Linda, a Hospice of the Red River Valley patient. Lloyd and Linda were married right out of high school in 1974 and brought a balance to each other’s lives.

They created a home and raised their family in Glyndon, Minnesota. Linda would volunteer in the community and serve at the church, where she started a bus ministry as their first bus driver. She loved to go fishing with Lloyd, making ceramics and reading, listening to over 200 audiobooks in the last year of her life.

Linda was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, which affected her coordination, speech, breathing and swallowing. The decision for hospice care came when Linda’s needs were beyond Lloyd’s abilities. He didn’t want to take her to the hospital whenever they needed assistance. He knew he needed help, and Linda wanted to stay home. Lloyd’s father had been on hospice with Hospice of the Red River Valley in Detroit Lakes, so with the help of Linda’s primary care physician, they reached out to HRRV and were in care from October 2022 to January 2023.

“Mostly what Hospice of the Red River Valley did for us was to support me and what I was doing with Linda as her full-time caregiver,” described Lloyd. He appreciated the hospice team’s expert care, guidance and dedicated work. “They want to be there. They could be working anywhere else in the world that they want to, but they want to do this. They have a heart for it, and they’re very competent.”

Lloyd was grateful for the partnership created between himself and the hospice team. They worked together to provide Linda with the best care. He was impressed that they never attempted to push any choices on him or Linda. They always gave them educated options and allowed them to make the best decisions for themselves. Lloyd and Linda were always in control of her care.

Lloyd Stoll playing guitar.

Lloyd wrote music to work through his feelings and questions about what he and his wife were going through. Anytime he found himself concerned or questioning, “What do we do now?” he would write it down and realized that he was writing a song. His music helped both him and others who have gone through something similar, as they often find themselves asking similar questions. He wrote a song laying in bed with Linda and another after she passed about putting his hands in God’s.

In their last week together, Lloyd and Linda knew they had limited time. Lloyd could tell that Linda was concerned, but not for herself, for him. They prayed together, Lloyd asking that God let Linda know it was okay to go. What Lloyd believes gave Linda relief was hearing her grandkids say goodnight to her over messenger for the last time. It was a special moment that he still cherishes.

Lloyd expresses the encouragement that the Hospice of the Red River Valley team gave him as they cared for Linda and checked in on him after Linda passed. The entire team of nurses, social workers, chaplains and more are here to help and encourage families to receive the care they deserve. “You don’t need to be afraid of having them in. They aren’t there to take over your lives. They’re there to assist you. And I learned that right at the beginning.”

Click here to listen to Lloyd’s music.


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