The Integration of Faith and Death

I have very much enjoyed being a hospice volunteer over the past six months. I have learned a lot in my short time in this program, and this program has probed some deeper thinking about important topics within me. My patients have been wonderful, and even though we did not speak, due to certain barriers, … Continue reading “The Integration of Faith and Death”

From country, culture to death

As an international student from China, whose first language is not English and who has never had any previous experience of how hospice works, this VA hospital program definitely is very meaningful to me. Originally, I thought hospice simply meant caring for people in hospital, just as what volunteers normally did in every hospital. But … Continue reading “From country, culture to death”

Lessons on Life from Hospice Care

I signed up to volunteer with Hospice at a time when I still didn’t understand what it meant to have a terminal illness, to be beyond treatment options, and to want to live out your days in peace. As someone who is science-minded, it is easy to fall into the trap of always wanting to … Continue reading “Lessons on Life from Hospice Care”

The Women of Rosemont

The year I have spent as a Hospice volunteer unfolded in two phases. The first was centered around Mona. Twice a week starting in October, I signed in to the weathered Hospice facility binder and knocked on her door. I quickly learned not to expect a response. Mona is a woman of few words, limited … Continue reading “The Women of Rosemont”

Lessons from being a Hospice volunteer

Becoming a hospice volunteer was one of the most impactful and important decisions I have ever made. The experience I had and the relationships I have been building in the past months have changed me and are continuing to influence my development as a student on the biomedical path and more importantly, as a person. … Continue reading “Lessons from being a Hospice volunteer”

A Moment In Time With Ms. Kate

This past academic year, my senior research thesis topic for my chemistry major was on the synthesis of enzyme inhibitors as potential anti-cancer drugs. I had chosen to work on this project because I knew there could be a deeper purpose in the work that I did. I knew that if these compounds that I … Continue reading “A Moment In Time With Ms. Kate”

Death In A Different Light

The prospect of death has always been an unknown that has always brought about emotions of anxiety and fear for me. However, volunteering for Holisticare Hospice this past year has allowed me to view death in a different light than I once did. The different perceptions of death that I began to have were fostered … Continue reading “Death In A Different Light”

Saying Goodbye

I visited Maria from the beginning of the program through mid-February. The first time I visited I introduced myself, and she slept the whole visit. Little did I know then how my following visits would be filled with stories, kindness, and laughter. She would often repeat her favorite stories in one visit word for word with … Continue reading “Saying Goodbye”

Introduction to Palliative Care and Meaningful Experiences

Volunteering with Ascend Hospice this year has given me both a new outlook on my future career and on my personal life. By interacting with some very special end-of-life patients, I have been able to reflect more carefully on my role in the comfort of others and how I, in my life, can be helpful … Continue reading “Introduction to Palliative Care and Meaningful Experiences”

Bob and Me

When I first met Bob, I wondered how this was ever going to work. I had no way to communicate with him; any question I asked him would simply float around in his mind for a while, then leave just as quickly. In the first few weeks, much of the time we spent together was … Continue reading “Bob and Me”