Hospice


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Had my training for becoming a Hospice Volunteer today. It was incredibly organized and informative. They don’t mess around–a bit different from the Soup Kitchen, I must say. Of course, it’s a whole different ball of wax. They depend on Medicare/Medicade  funding, so must tow the line, even when it comes to volunteers. We are dealing with patients, so have to follow the same guidelines that any healthcare providers do.

Luckily, having spent so many years in the business, I’m familiar with most of it–and how to deal with death and dying, and families, but it was great to get a brush up and hear their take on things.

The group was pretty big, with kids from high school right up to senior citizens. There was even another female paramedic! Only two males though, as the group was mostly women. It seemed like a really good bunch of folks willing to do a whole range of jobs. I wish I was more talented, so I could provide special things, like singing or music, but hopefully I will give something in my own way.

Once all my paperwork, tests etc. pass, then I’ll be clear to go around with a mentor and finally begin my own work with the patients. Some have no family of their own, but some just need extra. Many (most they said) have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease so might not recognize us from week to week. But that’s fine. As long as we can provide comfort of some sort.

I have some ideas of what I can do. And I’m honored to share this sacred part of someone’s life. To help give someone a good death is important. That transition can be so difficult, we must try the best we can to make it as easy as possible. For everyone: the patient and the family.

And so I step into this realm once again and take this journey with them, hopefully with something to offer.

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Hidey Hole


We are all looking for our own paradise:

  • Heaven
  • Money
  • Love
  • Success 
  • Beauty 
  • Fame
  • Security 
  • Happiness 

    Maybe though, it’s really just hidden away in some hidey hole within us. 

    Maybe paradise is very small and very quiet. 

    Maybe we’ve been carrying it the whole time.

    And maybe it’s time to whisper hello to it so it can creep out and whisper back. 

    Poem: Fed


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    Oh cratered heart

    holy like Mother Teresa

    and Swiss cheese

     

    Eaten by disappointment

    from the moment of conception

    birthed into the recycling bin

    to be repurposed into  something more useful

     

    It becomes a hardened pit

    squeezed tight with shuttered angst

    surrounded by a sea of tears

    whose salt will season the pain

     

    And when the tides subside

    and pull away from the gritty sands

    it leaves behind a moist wet world

    fed by a juicy beating heart

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    Poem: Keep On Walking


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    Keep walking on

    into the fretful night

    where strangers surround your empty mind

    maybe they fill that hollow hole

    as your hobo self lurches forward

    Keep walking

    even after you’ve fallen

    with your bruised knees

    from the crawling you’ve done

    to keep you low to the ground

    But keep on walking

    even though the horizon looks flat

    because of the secrets it holds

    it may bend to your will

    as you approach

    Keep on walking

    with those weary old feet

    which have carried you far

    Keep walking

    Keep walking

    it won’t be long now

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    Meaning


    It has been a week of contemplation and ultimately deciding to let go–surrender.

    For months now I’ve been preparing (with the online course) and then trying to get a job here. For any of you out there  who have tried in recent years, you may know it’s no fun task. Online job searching and applying has become, it seems, like all our communication now: a distant and computerized grind. It takes anything remotely human out of the chore. There is no more going into a place (like a store for instance) and asking for an application, where maybe you might have a real person see you. Everything is handled by some invisible robot now.

    So I have been reduced to my statistics, and sadly they aren’t good. And don’t believe the lies they tell you. This America we live in now (or maybe even before), isn’t the equitable place everyone may believe. No, it’s really about the bottom line. It’s not about knowledge or experience: age does not bring wisdom folks, it brings the fact that you may just cost too darn much. Or in their minds you might anyway.

    It doesn’t seem to matter that younger folks may not have the savvy for a particular job, or the personal presence shall we say (at least in some instances). I’ve noticed that many of the ‘kids’ seem too busy checking their phones to really know how to talk to a real person. But bosses and companies don’t seem to mind this flaw as long as they can keep hiring these kids cheaply.

    And I’m not even asking for a lot of money! I just wanted a job. So does my neighbor. But try as we might, we just keep getting rejections, no matter how stellar our resumes may look. So it was time for me to just take a breath, because honestly, my breathing was getting too rapid about the whole situation. I was getting Indeed.com anxiety. It was nuts!

    Enough already.

    During a meditation it came to me that it was time to give in. My arms were heavy from swimming against this current. Fair enough. So time to take another tactic.

    I applied to volunteer at the local soup kitchen. Within 10 minutes they called me. I start tomorrow at 7 am. No, I’m not a good person. This totally isn’t about being generous. It’s about me. I won’t lie: this is doing something for me. I need to feel like I have meaning.

    And it didn’t hurt to apply somewhere and have someone say yes.