She was a doer. Action steps, always getting the tasks done. No matter what, just keep moving forward. One step at a time.
She was fiercely independent. So much so that I am sure, it caused her family some frustration and anxiety.
She was a creative. She always had a project on the go. She was always creating ways to make her home more beautiful. Renovations, restoration, gardening; always finding ways to allow her artistic side to shine.
She was wise and forgiving. She understood the complexities of humanness. She was willing to allow those complexities to just be there. Sometimes they were painful and sometimes joyful and loving.
She lived like that until the day she died.
She was one of the people that Hospice has had the privilege of caring for in the community. She was connected with a volunteer about a year before she died. During that time, she experienced many challenges. Our volunteer walked with her through all of them. A relationship of caring was formed.
One day the volunteer walked into the Solace Center, I was having a meeting with our Executive Director. The volunteer told us that her person’s husband had just died, that she had called her just after the event. The volunteer went to her house and just sat with her and listened.
When she told us, everything stopped. We sat with our volunteer and listened to the story. We didn’t leave her until she was ready to leave us. It was a poignant moment in time, one I will never forget.
It speaks to the trust that our client had in the volunteer. It speaks to the compassion of the volunteer and it speaks to our (Hospice’s) understanding that we care for our clients as well as our volunteers.
One of their final visits, they spent time in the garden. She wanted to make a rhubarb crumble. Our volunteer pulled the rhubarb out for her. The sun was shining and they had a lovely visit. At that point, end of life was drawing nearer. They didn’t talk about that, but our volunteer was aware and knew that this might be the final visit at home.
The client wanted to make rhubarb crumble so she could teach her daughter. She was the only one who knew the recipe. A final gift perhaps. We don’t know if she actually made the crumble, but the rhubarb was ready.
She moved into Hospice shortly after that visit and died within days.
We believe it is a privilege to walk with people on their journey of life. She lived well right up until the moment that she wasn’t able to.
Creative, independent, wise and always a doer. She died as she lived. Our volunteer shared in part of that journey. It was and will always be an honor for all of us.