Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I have a new hospice patient who I already really like. This patient is quite elderly, but still really sharp and lucid. I'm not supposed to mention that I am specifically a hospice volunteer, but I wonder if he knows I'm here because they judged him to be within six months of death. Is it a hard thing I wonder to be so close and know it intimately? Most of us spend so much time in denial of death, I wonder what it's like not to be?

My patient is full of wonderful stories, fascinating stories even, all about what Seattle was like at the turn of the century and all the things my patient could remember about living here back then. Service in a World War, marriage and children, what the city looked like before the sprawl and the Viaduct. I could sit and listen to this person for hours, and I think they are glad of my company and the chance to talk.

Coming in and out of the facility, I see all the other residents who are sitting around or walking up and down the corridors, trying to stay busy. I would imagine that not a lot of these people get visitors, yet I bet they have lots of fascinating stories, too. Stories that lie within these people and don't get told. I just feel for these elderly citizens who no longer have visitors with those all important ears to hear their stories. Even someone just to visit and exchange a smile with. It's just a shame, that's all, that these people brave people who lived and worked and built this country are sitting, forgotten, in facilities all over the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment