A Fellow Volunteer – A Wonderful Mentor

I met Irene, a fellow hospice volunteer, just over a year ago.

When it comes to listening, I have found Irene to be exceptional.

I asked Irene to share what she felt to be appropriate on the subject of listening at hospice.

Irene was kind enough to provide the information below, which I am so very happy to be passing along to you in this blog.

Thank you Irene!


Wise Words about Listening from a Hospice Volunteer


I am a hospice volunteer. Why hospice? All my life I have been a caregiver: daughter, grand daughter, niece, wife, mother, grandmother, and a professional care giver. This new role is a perfect fit for me in my retirement years.

In the caregiver role I was expected to be an advocate and to “fix” things, smooth the way.

There are many things that can not be fixed.

However, there are times when listening is a gift we as volunteers can give someone in their time of need.

As a good listener families are able to tell their stories, no interruptions, no judgement.

I cannot carry their burdens, change their circumstances, but I can listen. I can be a shoulder to cry on, arms to hug and hold (with permission) and an ear to listen with.

Working as a hospice volunteer has so many rewards.

I am able to spend time with families during a very difficult time in their life. Families who come to hospice may not remember individuals staff and volunteers, but they remember the comfort and the love they received.

For my own self care, I do not and can not carry others problems, I have learned that I can only be responsible for myself.

Volunteers and staff are extremely supportive, all who have learned to listen. When I need to talk things through, support is available for me. It is wonderful to work with such an amazing group of people who have similar life values.

Hospice Volunteer