Love and Dying

My patient is a wonderful Indian Hindi woman who is passionate about her culture, her faith, and her family. She is extremely honest – some could even say she is hard to please. The relationship I had with her brought about something special. By the third or fourth visit she smiled when she saw me … Continue reading “Love and Dying”

First Hospice Visit Experience

My first visit under the Ascend Hospice volunteer program was to Brookdale Hamilton, a senior living community that provides end-of-life care to individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. I distinctly remember one patient, a woman in her mid-80s with late stage Alzheimer’s. She wholeheartedly believed that she knew who I was and began … Continue reading “First Hospice Visit Experience”


Hospice volunteering has been one of the most enriching experiences of my entire Princeton career. I entered the program unsure of what to expect. I envisioned long, sterile hallways, desperate patients, and emotionally harrowing visits. I’d never seen someone at the end of their life, and I was worried it might be a graceless time, … Continue reading “Grace”

The lady in room 441

I can say undoubtedly that this experience has changed my life. Speaking with full disclosure, my first day at the unit I was shell-shocked. Most of the patients were non-responsive, the atmosphere was silent with only a few moans due to the pain of being moved. In most hospitals, volunteers talk with patients and walk them … Continue reading “The lady in room 441”

Hospice Reflection

I was pretty nervous when I started volunteering in hospice care. Looking back, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. I thought it wouldn’t be much different from my previous volunteer experiences in the ER and ICU, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. On one of my first nights as a volunteer, … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection”

Tuesdays & Fridays with Rich

Death is not the ultimate tragedy of life. The ultimate tragedy is depersonalization–dying in an alien and sterile area, separated from the spiritual nourishment that comes from being able to reach out to a loving hand, separated from the desire to experience the things that make life worth living, separated from hope. –Mitch Albom, Tuesdays … Continue reading “Tuesdays & Fridays with Rich”

Pre-med Hospice Experiences of an Aspiring Biomedical Researcher

I have been seeing the same patient, Catherine Glenn, since November. She is 97 years old and has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She has some short-term memory loss but is often quite coherent and enjoys talking. My most meaningful interactions with Catherine were when she remembered me for the first time and when … Continue reading “Pre-med Hospice Experiences of an Aspiring Biomedical Researcher”

An Unexpected Interaction

This program affected me more than I could have ever expected when I first applied. I remember being really anxious about if the nurses would be mean, fitting it into my schedule, and mostly about being around patients on the verge of death, as I had never seen a dead body before. I was unsure of how … Continue reading “An Unexpected Interaction”

A Different Experience, but an Experience Nonetheless

Throughout the span of the year, I have visited a single patient. She lived in her own home, a few houses down from one of her children. During the first semester, she had a consistent aid, but throughout the second semester, each time I visited there was a different aid. Throughout the year, there was … Continue reading “A Different Experience, but an Experience Nonetheless”