A spider makes its way across the wall in front of me. It, like all living things, will eventually die. Its movements are frantic and irregular. It is limping. One of its legs is missing. I look at it, and it pauses, almost as if it’s waiting for me to kill it. I leave it … Continue reading “Vanity”

The Good in Death

As a young woman with most of my life ahead of me, I have always viewed death as a sad thing. Because I have so many goals, dreams, and expectations, it is a terrible thought to imagine that it all be cut short with an untimely death. I do not want to die anytime soon, … Continue reading “The Good in Death”

Experiences with Hospice

Working in Hospice has made me realize how vital end of life training is within the healthcare system. I realized throughout this program that death is not synonymous with failure; rather, death is an inevitable aspect in every life. However, with proper care and support, death can even hold beauty. Although I do not think … Continue reading “Experiences with Hospice”

My Experience in Hospice

My experience in the hospice program has been something that will stay with me throughout my career and throughout my life. I have had experience with death in my life, but never to this extent. I have had friends pass from drug overdoses and loved ones die peacefully in their sleep, but never within this … Continue reading “My Experience in Hospice”

Be here, while I am here

What is death? What does death mean? Those were both things that before Hospice I had never truly reflected on or wanted to reflect on. But this year when I saw the open volunteer position I decided it was something that I wanted to explore. I wanted to to explore this other aspect of life; … Continue reading “Be here, while I am here”

Making Connections

If you had asked me last October whether I would consider going into geriatric medicine or working exclusively with those who were dying when I became a physician, I would have said no – too depressing. Obviously, the work is valuable and important, but it is more suited for those who would be willing to … Continue reading “Making Connections”

A Reflection on My Time as a Hospice Volunteer

It was over the course of the seven months I spent as a hospice volunteer that I experienced three deaths: my grandmother who I call Didi, my patient Lily, and my piano teacher of 10 years. My Didi passed away in November, the same day that my first patient died. I actually received the news … Continue reading “A Reflection on My Time as a Hospice Volunteer”

Hospice Volunteer

Being a hospice volunteer has been quite the learning experience. From meeting new people to gaining insight into the medical environment that contains the geriatric to realizing the importance of social interactions, this involvement has been full of realizations – both good and bad. Another important piece of the program was the weekly meetings. While … Continue reading “Hospice Volunteer”

Reflections on an Exhibition

I have recently visited the Chicago Institute of Art, spending most of my time mesmerized by their contemporary and modern collections. One exhibition in particular, featuring avant-garde Chinese videographer Zhang Peili, made me feel particularly anxious and uncomfortable almost immediately. I walked into the miniature theater to a black-and-white Chinese revolutionary movie scene with one … Continue reading “Reflections on an Exhibition”

“To Be or Not to Be”: A Reflection on Life and Passing

Prior to my time volunteering at a hospice, the closest I had ever been to death was when my grandfather passed away when I was seven years old. And even then, my experience with the grief and aftermath of his passing was felt thousands of miles away from the tiny Pakistani village encased by acres … Continue reading ““To Be or Not to Be”: A Reflection on Life and Passing”