A Caregiver’s Point

Posted:  Friday, May 18, 2018 - 3:14pm
A Caregiver’s Point of View…
No one should have to die alone...

“No one should have to die alone.”  I suppose it isn’t a statement most people think about on a daily
basis, but for me, it often is.  I have worked in the care-giving field for over 18 years, giving special
attention and interest to people who are dying.  My first hospice experience was when I worked my
first CNA job at my local hospital. It was a normal day, I went in for the shift change meeting, got my
assignment and report for the day.   I headed to do my rounds. When I arrived at the room of my
hospice patient, I entered with purpose. The curtains were drawn, the room felt sad and empty; he
was alone in his room, no family, no friends, no sign of companionship.    I did the basic daily care
protocol tasks but I felt like I should do more. When all of my care duties were complete, I decided to
sit with him. Quietly. Until the end of my shift. As I was exiting the care unit, the Hospital Chaplain
happened to pass by me.  We exchanged smiles and pleasantries. When I got out to my car to head
home for the day, I was overcome with an indescribable feeling, it compelled me to turn around and
go back into my hospice patient’s room. The Hospital Chaplain was praying. When he was done, he
invited me in to sit.  I did. We sat in silence for a long time, and then we talked for a while. His most
memorable statement was “no one should have to die alone”. I vividly remember the feeling in the
room, it was feeling hard to describe. It was as if you could feel light, but not see it. Even though the
room was lonely, absent of visitors, there was a warm feeling in the room.   I sat with the patient for as
much time as I could over the next two days until his passing. He did not die alone. I stayed with him
through his last breath. Even though I never knew him or anything about him, my heart felt heavy and
at peace for him.

A short time later I saw his funeral notice in the news paper. I decided to attend. I didn’t know what
to expect, so I didn’t expect anything.  I went to the service. It was a small gathering of only eight or
nine people for a graveside burial in a local cemetery. One particular person stood out to me. An
elderly woman in a wheelchair, weeping softly, alone. After the speaker concluded the brief service, I
approached the woman and asked if I could sit with her or if she would rather be alone. She began to
sob inconsolably, chest heaving, tears pouring down her face; I felt panic inside, I didn't mean to upset
her! She pulled me down toward her and hugged me hard burying her face into my shoulder. She
sobbed. I schooched down to my knees and held her until her tears subsided.

“My brother, he died alone. All  alone. ” She began to weep again, “No one should die alone, I should
have called him, I should have made peace with him!” she said. I took her hands in mine and looked
up at her and assured her that her brother did not die alone. I told her of the visits from the Chaplin
and the time that I spent with him. I told her I stayed with him through his passing and until the funeral
attendants came to transport him from the hospital.  

I felt sad for her regrets but hoped she would find peace from my words.  A car came slowly down the
grassy aisle of the cemetery. I helped get her situated into the front seat and watched the car slowly
pull away.

There are many aspects of Hospice care; diagnosis, prognosis, care plan, care providers, caregivers,
spiritual care many more.  From this experience, I was brought awareness to the importance of
Hospice Volunteers because, “No one should have to die alone.”
Hospice Volunteers  provide free, confidential, non -medical support and assistance to those at the end of life, their families, and the bereaved.  They also offer relevant education and support within the community.

With your support, and donations, the Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County can continue to provide
services to our community at no cost. Services provided include, but are not limited to: supporting
patients and families facing the end of life, bereavement support, support groups for the bereaved
public and ongoing bereavement support for young adults who experienced loss as children,
educational materials, and much more. This is an amazing group of people volunteering for an very
important cause.

Come celebrate the Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County: Join in the fun at the Amazing Super Fine
Fantastic 4th Annual Trunk Sale sponsored by Private Home Care Inc.
Host a table to sell your goods or demo your product.  Enjoy the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, get some local
treats and treasures, and meet some fine people.
It’s fun for the whole community. There is something for everyone!

Written by Carol Moody, Coordinator at Private Home Care, Inc.
Learn more about Private Home Care, Inc. by visiting our website: