On occasion at Hospice, a guest arrives who is alone. Either their family lives in another town, or they have been separated from them for one reason or another.
When this happens, the Hospice staff and volunteers will visit the guest as much as possible. The guest feels that they are part of something.
As death draws near, everyone comes together to ensure that our guest does not die alone. It is an honour to be a part of this team.
Volunteers and staff take turns sitting, holding the guest's hand, combing his/her hair… Giving comfort and being present as our guest slowly drifts away. It is beautiful and it is an honour.
There is another piece to this that I appreciate. As we, the staff and volunteers comfort and care for our guest, we are also taking care of each other. We make sure that breaks are given, we check in with each other and we share short stories about our guest.
It is simple, and it is profound.
As we are present for our guest, we are present for each other.
I am truly grateful for the privilege of sitting vigil with our guests and for the privilege of working side by side with a group of caring, loving people.