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A Helping Hand

“I have been a hospice volunteer since 1992. I visit my patients about once a week. My role as a volunteer is to keep them company so they feel less lonely than they would otherwise. We just hang out. A lot of them are too sick to move much, so I may run errands for them, but it’s all about being present: listening and just showing up, demonstrating that they’re worth my time and that somebody is noticing that the world is about to lose someone. It’s important to forget about everything else in my life and be available for whatever they want–maybe a distraction, maybe someone to talk to. A lot of the magic in this is that the prominent people in their life know what they’re about to lose; when I step in, all I know is what they want me to know.”

P.S. Los Angeles,

“My background is not medical, so I can step in with fresh eyes so they can tell me whatever they want and feel comfortable doing so.”

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