Always Connected In Spirit

It was a typical Wednesday morning when my 9:00AM alarm went off. “Ugh, do I really have to go today?” I thought to myself, as I knew I would have to volunteer at the hospice later that day. When I arrived at the Center for Acute Hospice Care, the nurses asked me to speak with … Continue reading “Always Connected In Spirit”

Death and Dying: A Topic I can now cope with

Before I started volunteering with Ascend Hospice this year, death was an unfamiliar and scary topic for me to consider. I have not had a close family member or friend pass away in my lifetime, so I did not have the experience of dealing with my own emotions concerning death. I always thought of it … Continue reading “Death and Dying: A Topic I can now cope with”

死 -OR- Understanding why we sĭ

In most cultures, there are a few numbers that are considered unlucky. One example is triskaidekaphobia, a long name for a common fear in the US – the fear of the number 13. There are hotels that skip the 13th floor and shooting ranges that have a 12, 12a, and 14th booth. I never understood … Continue reading “死 -OR- Understanding why we sĭ”

Dying, Death, and the Gift of it all

I have found that my most meaningful hospice relationships were more transient interactions with patients; small reminders that even as the body is wearing down, that the spirit within isn’t gone. I can recall many instances of walking into a patient’s room to ask if they needed anything and getting a whip-like response to what … Continue reading “Dying, Death, and the Gift of it all”

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”