My involvement in hospice volunteering was prompted by the care given to my seven-year-old grandson Sammy who was a remarkable and loving young man dying with brain cancer and receiving hospice care. It was after Sammy’s passing and my retirement, I decided to give back some portion of the care that I witnessed, which was given to someone I cared about and loved so deeply. I responded to a request for volunteers issued by St. Barnabas and went through the training. The journey continues to be a wonderful experience to share and to be a part of the final earthly chapter in the lives of those I have been given the honor to spend these final days with. I feel blessed as these children of God allow me to share in their transition from this world.
I have been a Hospice Volunteer for almost three years. At first I was a bit apprehensive about volunteering, thinking perhaps it would be difficult to deal with. However, from the moment I visited my first patient, I knew I had made the right decision. The patients and their families are so grateful and appreciative that you cannot help but feel good about what you are doing. I leave the patients feeling blessed that I was able to visit them.
I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to visit patients as a St. Barnabas Hospice volunteer. Establishing and maintaining a relationship with a hospice patient may seem challenging because their journey is often undefined. I have found my desire to give unconditional love and support and the compassion I feel for these patients alleviates many of the doubts I might have in my ability to help them along this journey. Every visit is different and something as simple as a caring touch, a smile, a prayer, or even just my physical presence in peaceful silence, can bring comfort beyond measure. It’s an extremely rewarding experience.
I truly enjoy volunteering with St. Barnabas Hospice. I am given the opportunity to offer caring comfort and support to patients and families at a very trying time of their lives, and to brighten someone’s day. Making a difference in the lives of others is a wonderful blessing to me.