Volunteering with Hospice has given me a purpose – a reason for being here. I came to Hospice late in my life, but had I known it was going to be so rewarding, I would have jumped at the opportunity long ago.
During the past year I have met some beautiful souls. Being told you have a limited time remaining on this earth is daunting, to say the least. Having to deal with this alone is unthinkable. As volunteers, we are here to listen. In my experience, I have found that a gentle touch and listening makes the patients comfortable. I want the patients to know and feel that they matter to me, because the only thing we really own is the love we give away and love is what a patient takes with them when they die. As volunteers, we connect with families as well. For them, this has to be the worst of times. Where do they go from here when all of a sudden their world as they know it comes tumbling down around them? I know very little about death, but I know that life must go on, and grief and sadness are part of the journey and it too, must be handled with care and love.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve others. Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words, will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. It reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that ares up for a brief moment.