Thursday, March 15, 2012


I've just said goodbye to my last hospice patient. SVNS hospice will close its doors at the end of next month, and has been transitioning patients to other hospice organizations. I'm still doing Bereavement counseling until the end of April, but it will be a very sad time for me when I'm done completely; funnily enough it will also be the anniversary of two years that I've been doing Hospice work.

When I started out two years ago, I was a nervous newbie. I had had plenty of experience with dementia, and the elderly, and elder facilities. But I didn't really know what awaited me here. I drove into Seattle, a slip of paper with an address clutched in my hand, searching for apartment numbers as I drove slowly through the streets. I finally found the building I wanted, and was buzzed up to the apartment where my first patient waited. I had no idea what to expect, but was trying to prepare for anything-how was I to know that it would be the first of many blessings I would receive doing this work.

I only knew that patient and her family a handful of days, but I believe that I made a difference in her passing, both for the patient, and for her loved ones. I tried to remember my training, but found that what really came through was my compassion and what I knew of death and grief. It was enough, thankfully, although the whole time I felt I was flying by the seat of my pants.

Since then I've been deeply honored to be with each and every one of my patients-those I knew for months, and those I saw only once or twice. I know that doing this work has deepened and broadened me, and helped me in my work with Dad. When the time comes, I'll hopefully be able to welcome a hospice volunteer to be with Dad, as I've been with so many other people's loved ones.

I'm so sorry that SVNS has to stop doing its good work, and I hope that I'll be able to find another organization in which to work. This has been an amazing two years, and being able to do the Bereavement counseling has only added to the experience. Thank you to my wonderful mentors, Ross Robinson and Jeff Liles, who show me what it means to work for others. What I know is that I want to keep on doing what I'm doing, helping those who need help, grieving with those who must grieve.


  1. That's a tough job you do. I can't imagine the type of patience you must have!

    Your work in hospice is special. I don't believe I could do it because my heart is too soft and I'd like as not cry.

    Sorry to hear it is ending, but I am sure there are more opportunities out there for you. Too, I am positive you have made an impact on others through your work. The world needs more people like you.

    1. Hi Jeremy, thanks for stopping by and commenting-I appreciate the compliments! I checked out your site-Stephen King definitely a good writer, have you read his book on writing? I bet you've made a positive impact on others, too! Take care, Joy