Saints among us
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager
Folks, saints walk among us every day in the hospice industry. Selfless, loving saints. Everyone involved with a hospice organization, it seems, has responded to an internal calling; has acquiesced to a higher authority and made a conscious decision to give of their truest self.
Our volunteers fall into this category. They help patients and families because they adamantly care. They don’t show up because they get paid or because they think they’ll score a job. Our volunteers understand the life-changing experience that is hospice and they want to be a part of it any way they can.
I have a few very good examples to illustrate my point.
At our hospice house in Huntersville, Levine & Dickson Hospice House – Huntersville, we had a young dad (only 40 years old) who was under our care. He had two young children and wanted to leave memories for them; tangible ways to be a part of their lives since he would not be there to witness them grow up. Two wonderful and dedicated volunteers helped him 1) record the book “Good Night Moon” so that his children would never forget the sound of his voice, 2) write cards to them so that they would always have him “present” for momentous occasions, and 3) take prints of his hands (and those of his children) so that they could have a framed, visual reminder of his love for them. These amazing volunteers spent a week helping the father with these small, but incredibly precious tasks. Their actions soothed the mind and heart of a dying dad. For the children, however, these irreplaceable mementos will undoubtedly become beloved treasures.
At our hospice house in south Charlotte, Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, we occasionally have volunteers bring dinner for the families and visitors who are keeping vigil over their loved ones under our care. A few weeks ago, dinner was provided by a young mom of two (with another on the way!) who not only cooked a beautiful meal, but left this note as well:
My name is Jen and I am a 33-year old mother of two little girls, ages 4 and 2 and am also pregnant with a baby boy, who is due in October. In case you were wondering why I made dinner tonight, I wanted you to know it is truly for one simple reason: because I wanted you to know that someone is worrying and caring for you.
I lost my dad to colorectal cancer six years ago after a long battle. I know that when you are caring for a loved one who is ill, you have probably spent a lot of time worrying, you’ve likely spoken with countless doctors, and spent a lot of time researching all kinds of things. I also know that there are a lot of days that caregivers survive on vending machine food, if any food at all. So for dinner I have made one of my family recipes — we are Italian and this was one of my Dad’s favorites. Today would have been his 79th birthday, so please enjoy and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide you with some food that I hope brings you some physical energy and maybe even some comfort, because again, this was made just for you.
I wish you and your family the best.
See what I’m talking about? Saints. Saints who whole-heartedly support the mission of hospice care. Our volunteers understand what’s important to a patient at end of life. They also know the heartbreak that loved ones and family members feel when they’re watching someone special slip away to an unknown place. And rather than just say, “Wow, I’m sad for them”, they ask a completely selfless question which is, “What can I do to help?”
All I can say is that, daily, I am blown away by the stories I hear about volunteers touching the lives of those we serve. I am profoundly grateful to these saints for heeding that higher call. They nurture and love to the nth degree. And, ultimately, they sustain us.Explore posts in the same categories: awareness, end of life, hospice, Levine & Dickson Hospice House, Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, volunteering comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.