Tranquilosophy: Volunteer

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Week 40: Volunteer

After filling my plate with formerly frozen pieces of cut fruit and mini pastries, I took my seat in a windowless conference room at Washington Hospice.

I was honoring the three-year anniversary of my Gramma’s death by going through a two-day volunteer training to work with people during their final days of life.

Since February I’ve been showing up regularly for three-hour shifts to sit with patients, fetch them or family members anything they need, stroke their hands, and offer support to patients and nursing staff in any way possible.

Recently I sat outside with a patient in the final stages of lung cancer while he switched between smoking a cigarette and puffing on his inhaler. We discussed the weather, his life as a plumber in DC, and our mutual passion for chewy candy.

My passion for volunteering began in grade school when my dance school would dress up in tutus and parade from room to room greeting nursing home patients.


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