Why I Volunteer with Hospice: Insights from a Long-Time Volunteer

Diane Head receiving a plaque for her seven years of service with Tranquil Care Hospice.

Why I Volunteer with Hospice: Insights from a long-time volunteer

I do this work for the simple reason that it called me – spoke directly to my heart and my heart said “yes.” Each and every time I have met with clients, their families and caregivers I have been allowed into a time of their lives when everything is changing. Despite their situation, I have been welcomed, accepted and blessed. To me it is a great honor to sit at a bedside where someone is preparing to leave this world. Together we are in sacred space and I follow where they lead me.

Sometimes this journey together lasts several weeks, sometimes we may have only that moment. At times I have something to offer in the way of service such as Reiki or Heart Touch. Always they have something to offer me; they are my teachers. I come away more peaceful and grounded, grateful for the opportunity to have shared precious life moments with them. Sitting at someone’s bedside, having no expectation about outcomes, having nothing to control I can simply ‘just be.’ Rabbi Heschael says “just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.”

This is the gift our clients give me – they allow me to be a blessing.  At the end of their earthly lives they have the most profound lessons of love to teach. How grateful I am to be in the presence of these teachers of love. This work instructs everything else I do – my life is richer, fuller, and more complete than it would have been without hospice volunteering.  I will always be grateful for this journey and the wonderful people I have met along the way, by being a hospice volunteer.

-By Diane Head, who recently retired to move back to Canada