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”

Hospice Reflection Essay

Volunteering for hospice has been an incredible experience. It has provided me with insight and knowledge in what it takes to work with people who are close to death. Before this experience, death was a hard topic to discuss. I understood it was an essential component of being a physician, but my patient experience with … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection Essay”

Dancing Around Death

Dancing Around Death Death is not an easy topic to discuss. One may think doctors, whose job encircles death, would be comfortable discussing the dreaded topic. However, it is apparent that even they struggle to find the right words when addressing a dying patient or a family who has yet to be informed that they … Continue reading “Dancing Around Death”

Live in the Moment

Live in the Moment Live in the moment and really appreciate what I have are the most central feelings after volunteering in this hospice program. This experience makes me truly feel the death and dying process. At the beginning, death was only a word to me; nothing really came up to my mind when I … Continue reading “Live in the Moment”

The Power of Presence

Before I began volunteering, I did not have a clear idea of what to expect from the hospice volunteer program. I knew that I wanted to form meaningful relationships and gain exposure to patients and the struggles that occur during this stage of life. Through volunteering, I gained new perspectives about comforting someone through their … Continue reading “The Power of Presence”