Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hospice Volunteer Moments

I became a volunteer with Casa de la Luz Hospice in early 2008.  I chose Casa de la Luz because I knew about the wonderful, quality care they provide to patients and families. My first assignments were two ladies with Alzheimer’s disease, then a woman with cancer.  Each experience was unique. 

For the last two years, I have been at the Inpatient Unit on Thursday afternoons.  I also go in to sit vigil when someone is near death.  If a family is unable to be with a patient in the active dying process, Casa does everything they can to have a volunteer sit with them.  I have been with several people at the end of their lives in the past, and I feel very comfortable in situations like this.  I feel privileged to walk with them on their journey home.

When I walk into the IPU, I know that I’m walking on hallowed ground.  As I make coffee, fill the chip basket, cut coffee cake, shred papers, wrap candles, or answer phones, I am humbled to be doing something to serve families who are grieving, and the staff who cares for them.

When I sit with patients, I feel honored to be with them.  Things happen in the IPU that are incredible.  Recently, a lady came into the IPU asking about a particular song that she had heard played.   She was leaving the next day to fly to another state for her father’s funeral, and she wanted this song played at his funeral.  Diana, the IPU manager, was in her office; I was at the reception desk.  Diana overheard the name of the person who sang the song; she walked out of the office holding a CD that had just been sent to her in the mail.  That CD had the song on it that the lady wanted.  I feel  there is an awesome God watching over us.

I wish that my mother, who died in 1992, could have experienced the blessings that Casa brings.

By Shirley Nelson, Volunteer

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