Hospice volunteers say that being intimately involved with another person's death gives them a greater appreciation for life. Some say it makes them more grateful and less susceptible to getting ruffled over life's smaller hassles such as long lines and traffic jams [source: Hospice Volunteer Association].
Hospice volunteers report having a deep sense of satisfaction in being there for someone during a scary time of life. They feel like they are making a significant contribution to the community and providing a service they hope others would offer them, were they in need.
Some hospice volunteers say it helps them come to terms with their own mortality and promotes emotional and spiritual growth [source: VistaCare]. Others appreciate the closeness they develop with the family members and the opportunity to witness what is typically a very private moment. Providing hospice care can also help the volunteers learn how to deal with similar situations occurring in their own lives when a beloved family member or friend is facing death.
Like those who volunteer for other causes, hospice volunteers say they feel like they're making a difference and doing so is very fulfilling, giving added purpose to their lives. Moreover, helping people through the dying process keeps the volunteers focused on what's really important in their own lives [source: Hospice Volunteer Association].
Some become volunteers after watching their spouses, siblings or close friends die and want to honor them by providing this service. But no matter the reason that draws volunteers to hospice work, they all say it helps keep life in perspective.
For more information on hospice and volunteering, see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Cancer Society. "What is Hospice Care?" (Accessed 4/28/09)http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/Eto_2_5x_What_Is_Hospice_Care.asp
- Field, Mary Jane and Cassel, Christine. "Approaching Death." Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Care at the End of Life. 1997. (Accessed 4/28/09)http://books.google.com/books?id=9I2V8IMj0vsC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=americans+and+attitude+toward+death&source=bl&ots=PEMWgsSgrD&sig=Qu1gwIqji91PiHO5SATBEPATW2A&hl=en&ei=D8r4ScPbAuaElAf3253SDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#PPA45,M1
- Hospice Foundation of America. "Be a Hospice Volunteer." (Accessed 4/28/09)http://www.hospicefoundation.org/hospiceInfo/volunteer.asp
- Hospice Volunteer Association. "How To Become a Volunteer." (Accessed 4/28/09)http://www.hospicevolunteerassociation.org/hvaHowToVolunteer.aspx
- Vista Care. "Volunteering." (Accessed 4/28/09)http://www.vistacare.com/giving/volunteering.asp