After having spent a year as a volunteer at our Langley Hospice Residence, I have been contemplating what this year has meant to me; what I have learned, and what I have been able to give.

 I believe my hospice work actually started two years ago as I sat with my own mother at a hospice in Regina. It was then that I decided this was where I would volunteer. In the past I have served on numerous boards and committees. From all of them I have learned a tremendous amount, and worked with very dedicated, knowledgeable, and community minded people. So why is this different for me?  I am now privileged to be on a different journey. This is a journey where those we meet even for so short a time, need so little from us but give us so much. It is where simple things are important, like a cup of tea with a lady who just smiles and touches your hand. It is a hug, without words, or an opportunity to listen to a family’s story about their loved one. It is giving a grieving family time, care and the best that your heart can offer.

 I have learned from the residents that their world is very small and most important is family, friends, pictures on their wall, grandchildren that come to visit, and the comfort of quiet surroundings. Gratitude is in abundance, from the residents and their families. I know I express the thoughts and feelings of many of the volunteers. When I leave the residence after three hours, I take all those I have met that day home with me in my heart. I have a sense of joy and peace knowing that it was good to be there as part of their journey and with them as a part of mine.

Donna Porter
Hospice Residence Volunteer