Life Lessons from a Hospice Volunteer
Posted by Ruth Rane
People become hospice volunteers for different reasons. Maybe they have had a personal experience with hospice when a loved one needed care. Maybe they just want to give back. Generally when people inquire about becoming a hospice volunteer, it is because they want to contribute something of themselves to others, to contribute to a cause they believe in, and to help other people.
As a hospice volunteer, I am passionate about this work. Whenever I am out, I talk to anyone who will listen, even the clerk when I'm shopping, and often I invite them to learn more. I find that each person who volunteers is interested in contributing to our community through offerings of help and support. This work also gives them joy as well as greater insight on the gifts life offers us each day.
An article about hospice volunteering was recently posted on Huffington Post that I feel is an important reminder of the gifts we get from this role. The writer touches on some wonderful experiences and perspectives that are gained through hospice volunteering, including:
1. Much of what you think matters now won't matter later
2. You don't need to be anything spectacular
3. We have so much to learn from each other
4. When words fail you touch matters
5. What we do here in our life matters more than we can ever know
6. Joy can be found anywhere
Whether hospice volunteering is of interest to you or not, I think that each of us should refer and reflect on this list as they are important reminders for all of us.
Hospice volunteering can be hard sometimes, but it is extremely rewarding on so many levels. There is something very special about spending time one-on-one with someone who is sharing the final moments of his or her life and presence with us.