- GRIEF SUPPORT
- EVENTS & RESOURCES
- PATIENT REFERRALS
Peggy* was in her late eighties and had lost her husband about two weeks before I met her. She and her husband had shared a room in the facility, so understandably, she had just suffered a huge loss. They had been married for a long time, and, when speaking about him, a smile would always appear on her face. It was obvious that they had a very loving marriage.
As Peggy and I got to know each other, we shared stories about our lives, and it was amazing how many things we had in common. I told her that I was born and raised in the Hayward area. Peggy and her husband had lived in the Hayward area almost all their adult life! I attended schools from Kindergarten through High School in Hayward Unified School District; Peggy and her husband had been employed in the same school district, he as a teacher and she as a librarian. We laughed at how much we had in common. We even owned properties on the same street. We were neighbors!
Initially, I visited her once a week. But I realized that I enjoyed her company so much and wanted to see her more often. I started stopping by on Thursdays or Fridays and would bring my computer just we could read the East Bay Times (the Hayward paper) together. This woman had a wonderful attitude about her life and her current situation.
Peggy would tell me stories about her children and their lives. One day when I went to visit, Peggy’s son was there, and he thanked me for being such a positive thing in his mother’s life. It was heartwarming to know that she enjoyed our visits just as much as I did.
During our time together, Peggy was slowly getting weaker and losing weight. With each visit, I could notice the change in her. On a particular visit, she was in obvious discomfort and was struggling. Even in her weakened condition, she was able to manage a big smile when I entered her room. I did most of the talking, as she was not up to conversing much.
Marking the end of our time together that day, I walked out of the room and Peggy motioned for me to come back. She wanted to tell me something. I leaned over, and she told me that she loved me. I kissed her on the forehead and noticed tears coming down her cheek. It was heartbreaking to see her like that and even harder to leave.
Peggy passed within a few weeks. Having her as a patient reminded me why I like my job as a volunteer for Hope. To say that we had lots in common was an understatement. We bonded from our first meeting as if we were old friends.
*patient’s name has been changed for privacy.