A Story of Hospice Providing Comfort for the Soul
Hospice. When people hear that word, they often think of it in physical terms, but a large part of hospice is spiritual. And sometimes the spiritual aspect is so powerful that it surprises families, hospice staff and volunteers.
This was the case with Ms. M., a Silverado Hospice patient who was nearing the end of her 92-year journey. Ms. M.’s Parkinson’s disease had already advanced to the point where she no longer was responsive, and during a regular visit, her Silverado Social Worker began to see many common signs observed at the very end of life.
After seeing these signs, a Silverado volunteer was quickly sent to Ms. M.’s home to ensure that she would not be alone. These special individuals are given the title “Eleventh Hour Volunteer” for their ability to provide compassion at the end of life.
The team also connected with Ms. M.’s daughter, who would have one final opportunity to speak to her mom. The phone was placed to Ms. M.’s ear and her daughter said to her, “I love you and it is OK to go be with Jesus. I will be all right and we will be together again.” Although Ms. M. had been unresponsive to anyone around her, the volunteer was completely astonished to see tears running down Ms. M.’s cheeks. Ms. M. passed peacefully a few hours later.
Ms. M.’s family continues to express the comfort they felt throughout the experience, knowing that Ms. M. was not alone at the end. The experience moved everyone involved, from Silverado staff to the loving volunteers who shared their time, and it served as a wonderful example of the dignity that’s possible when love, compassion and teamwork come together.