- One evening I sat with a man who appeared to be sleeping. I stayed for a few minutes, quietly watching, before moving on to visit others. When I returned later, he was awake. I told him that I had come in earlier. He said, “I knew you were there”. It made me realize that my presence was important to the people in care, even if not always acknowledged.
- One time, I sat with a woman while her visiting daughter shared memories of her mother. The stories revolved around the everyday actions of a mother. The mundane deeds and loving functions that showed how much her mother cared for her family. It was the little things that mattered most, in the end, and the daughter wanted me, and her mother, to know how much they meant to her.
- On another shift, I met a woman who had just arrived from England to be with her father. Once here, she was reluctant to leave the hospice, even for a short time, to get settled into her accommodation. Finally, she asked me if I would stay with her father while she was gone. She needed to know that her father would be cared for in her absence.
- One of the highlights of my time in hospice occurred after one particularly busy night. As I was about to leave, one of the nurses hugged me goodbye. It made me feel that I was needed. I knew that I was a part of the team.
I operate a small daycare. I spend my days caring for new lives but my time as a volunteer has taught me that everyone matters, regardless of their stage of life. The last moments are just as important as the first – maybe even more.