The Last Hurdle of Life and Its Effects on Others

While serving as a hospice volunteer for the past few months, I have met several people in hospice along with their families. It’s interesting and exciting to listen to each person’s stories about their lives. One particular patient named Mary and her family changed how I viewed the end of life. Mary had been in … Continue reading “The Last Hurdle of Life and Its Effects on Others”

Listening to The Little Things

From just one hospice visit, I learned that near the end of life, you begin to find beauty in the mundane and simple. During a visit with a new patient, we spent our entire time together talking about food. My patient was commenting on the breakfast food she had in front of her, wondering if … Continue reading “Listening to The Little Things”

What Death Has Taught Me About Life

My hospice journey began with a patient in the late stages of neurodegenerative disease. Even though she was awake, she could not speak or show conscious awareness of her surroundings. It was frustrating at first because I did not know how to interact with her. I tried asking questions, showing her pictures, and reading to … Continue reading “What Death Has Taught Me About Life”

Storytelling with Donna and Joey

Donna and Joey met in high school at the diner where Donna worked. Joey often recounts the delicious milkshakes and burgers they shared. They have been together since they met and never left their hometown, except for when Joey served in the navy during World War II. Their small hospice room is filled with medals … Continue reading “Storytelling with Donna and Joey”

A New Outlook

When I first decided to join the volunteer program with Seasons Hospice Care, I had a very different idea of hospice than I do now. Through working with multiple patients, I have seen real life examples of how hospice is not accepting defeat; it is celebrating life and making the end of life as comfortable … Continue reading “A New Outlook”

The Implications of Death on Living a Fulfilling life

Volunteering in hospice has given me a perspective on the relationship between death and life’s value that I didn’t think existed previously. I once heard a story about a tulip and an old rose: The tulip sees the rose wilting and the sight of that makes the feeling of the sunlight on the tulip’s petals … Continue reading “The Implications of Death on Living a Fulfilling life”

Hospice Reflection

A very meaningful relationship I had with a hospice patient was with Mary. I began to see this patient about two months ago. From the start, she was welcoming and willing to converse with me. She loved to tell me about her family, especially her mother, who she took care of until the end of … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection”

Thursday Afternoons

In our current society, it is evident that most people are uncomfortable with the topic of death. For a family, it can feel unbearable to let go of a loved one because the terror of the unknown causes them to hold on tighter. For doctors, death means that they did not do their job correctly … Continue reading “Thursday Afternoons”

My Time at Seasons

Volunteering at Seasons Hospice Care has been one of the most life changing experiences for me. At the beginning of this program, I was told it would be hard at times because the patients are at the end of their life and need some comfort, especially if death is not familiar. I have had experience … Continue reading “My Time at Seasons”

Lonely and Confused

Throughout the last year, I have volunteered with three different women suffering from Alzheimer’s, and in doing so, I have reflected on life and death. I think a lot about my own grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, and how she has been incredibly fortunate to receive very high-quality, in-home care. In contrast, my most recent patient, … Continue reading “Lonely and Confused”