A Farewell to Lynn
Posted Friday, June 14th, 2013
Last year sometime, I let go of my 20-plus years as a hospice volunteer. That role had always been extraordinarily rewarding and joyous (yes, that is the right word), but I felt like it was time to experience something new.
So last fall I began a new volunteer gig, through a program called Project Linkage, that had me visiting weekly with an elderly gentleman named Lynn. He wasn’t particularly ill – he just longed for companionship and good conversation.
Over the months we became good friends, almost like brothers. Our conversations always included laughter, discussions about life, and sharing our weekly activities.
A few months ago, Lynn’s health started to fail, and I “just happened” to be there when he had a particularly scary incident. He credited me with having saved his life, but I think he was simply willing to accept my concern and advice as a trusted friend.
That experience landed him in the hospital for the first of four visits to treat what turned out to be congestive heart failure. When I called him at home on Monday, he said he thought he had “taken a turn for the worse” and was now on hospice care.
So this week, instead of our regular Wednesday visits, I was with him every day, first in his home and then in a care center. And early this afternoon I was blessed and honored to be there, with his daughter and granddaughter, when he moved on to the next dimension.
In all those years as a hospice volunteer, I was only present twice when a patient made his or her transition. But having worked in that field for so long allowed me to offer a perspective to his family that seemed to be helpful and comforting to them, and Lynn gave me the gift of being there at his moment of departure.
All things are working together for good. God bless you on your new journey, my friend.