Finding Peace and Meaning in Death

Coming into my junior year of college at the University of Pittsburgh, I did not expect to spend a Sunday every couple of weeks sitting inside a church, eating pizza, and reflecting on death. But I am grateful I did. Over the 2017-18 school year, I had the opportunity to spend time at West Penn … Continue reading “Finding Peace and Meaning in Death”

My Hospice Volunteer Journey

Being a hospice volunteer has been instrumental in improving my understanding of the death and dying process, as well as in teaching me how to interact with actively dying patients and their families. Prior to becoming a hospice volunteer, I was completely unfamiliar with the dying process. I had done clinical volunteering before, but the … Continue reading “My Hospice Volunteer Journey”

Learning Through Death

Death is a concept that has always been hard for me to discuss and completely accept as a part of my human experience. Facing the idea of your own morality is taboo within our society. This taboo is even more apparent for younger people who have a sense of invincibility. I have only experienced one … Continue reading “Learning Through Death”

Lessons from those who left, but are not forgotten.

During my time as a volunteer in the West Penn Hospital, I have learned and gained a lot of insight about people’s daily suffering and this common and omnipresent process that we begin the moment we are born: Death. Death is a natural occurrence that everyone experiences in different ways because we are all different, … Continue reading “Lessons from those who left, but are not forgotten.”

Trying to make a difference

How has your Hospice experience influenced your understanding of end of life issues? My hospice experience has been extremely positive! I did not expect it to be this way. I thought it would be somber and sad, but instead I have been able to have meaningful friendships, although sometimes very short, with people I would … Continue reading “Trying to make a difference”

How Hospice Has Changed Me

One of the most meaningful Hospice relationships surprisingly did not occur in the hospital, but instead occurred while I was making Tuck-In calls to patients. Most Thursdays, I would make calls to patients and their family members to ensure that patients had enough supplies and support going into the weekend. Most of the time, patients … Continue reading “How Hospice Has Changed Me”

Honesty is the Best Policy

In my experience with hospice volunteering in the last 5 months, I have learned more in such a short amount of time than I ever could have in a classroom. As a 20-year old, I am what people might consider “lucky” when it comes to dealing with death. I have never had to deal with … Continue reading “Honesty is the Best Policy”

My Hospice Experience

Throughout the last year, I have spent time volunteering in the inpatient hospice unit at West Penn Hospital as well as visiting the home of a patient with late stage dementia. Before I began this volunteering, I had no experience with death nor had I considered my feelings about death. However, through our discussions with … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”

Hymns and Hospice

I was still a little flustered over missing my bus when I stepped into the hospice unit for my very first day of volunteering. After introducing myself to the nurses, I began working through the list of activities outlined for volunteers to complete and quickly settled into the homey environment of the unit. About halfway … Continue reading “Hymns and Hospice”

Sensible and Sensitive Thought

On my first day of hospice volunteering, I was nervous. I really didn’t want to feel afraid because I knew death was a natural occurrence. I understood that everyone has to die, and if I truly wanted to be a doctor I might have to deal with death every day. I thought to be an … Continue reading “Sensible and Sensitive Thought”