The Finish Line

Growing up, death was something that never really crossed my mind. Due to my youth, it felt like an abstract concept and not something I would ever see. However, as someone who plans on entering the medical profession, I knew that I would come face to face with it sooner or later. Thanks to the … Continue reading “The Finish Line”

Ebbs, Flows, and Game Shows

Over the past year, I have been visiting a man facing seemingly insurmountable physical and emotional traumas (for the sake of this paper, he will be referred to as George). George is paralyzed from the neck down due to multiple sclerosis and was admitted to hospice at far too young of an age. I was … Continue reading “Ebbs, Flows, and Game Shows”

Death & Dying

Throughout this year, I have visited two different patients. The first one, Ian, was easy to talk to. We were able to connect through conversations we had and activities we could do together. The second patient I visited, Jessica, was a very different experience, because dementia limited the ability for us to hold a conversation. … Continue reading “Death & Dying”

A Journey With Hospice

Hospice volunteering has been an integral part of my college experience and has come to define my undergraduate third year. I would never have imagined that I would get the opportunity to meet so many unique patients and their families, forging meaningful bonds as they progressed through their hospice care. It was consistently fulfilling to … Continue reading “A Journey With Hospice”

Meaning in Life and Death Through Emotional Closure

Death was never an end, to me. Because of my spiritual foundation, I have always looked at death as a misunderstood gateway to another state, a new existence that no one quite fully understands. As I went through this program, I realized my one-sided and inexperienced perspective of death was deficient in much of the … Continue reading “Meaning in Life and Death Through Emotional Closure”

Not Just a Crossword

Death. It’s a scary word to most of us, with it comes fear, worry, and suspense. Once people become old enough to understand death’s extent, death’s impact, the fear seems to grow, presenting itself in various ways. When I began as a volunteer in the VA Hospice, I expected myself to be fearful, and I … Continue reading “Not Just a Crossword”

No Regrets

Volunteering at a hospice has taught me a great deal about death and dying. Before, death was always a rather taboo subject. I did not want to think about it. Even though death and dying is inevitable for everyone, I took the approach that if I did not think about it, it cannot be true. … Continue reading “No Regrets”

Eyes-A Deceitful Reflection

The eyes are but a reflection. It warps our perception of the world and is the lens through which we perceive life. Likewise, when we look at a person, we are never certain of the stories that lie behind those eyes. Even when listening to a story, the eyes that may seem to convey a … Continue reading “Eyes-A Deceitful Reflection”

Just Sit Down and Listen

As I begin to think about my potential career path, working at the pre-med hospice was the first step to help hone my career aspirations. One day as I volunteered there, I walked past a lovely lady who laid in bed silently, staring into the abyss through her glassy eyes. Her despondent stare pierced my … Continue reading “Just Sit Down and Listen”

Hope for Humanity

When applying for this program, I knew that I would be challenged and that I would experience immense growth, but I never imagined how transformative it would truly be. I could not be more grateful for receiving this life-changing opportunity. Although I don’t think anyone can fully prepare themselves for death and dying in the … Continue reading “Hope for Humanity”