I've been working with Hospice patients for almost a full year now and yesterday I got to enjoy my second patient who "graduated out of Hospice". This (I think) is most unusual, since people are admitted to Hospice when it is no longer feasible to continue medical therapy since death is presumed to occur within six months.
My first graduate is 97 and had been in hospice for almost six months. Not only did she graduate but she decided since she was apparently going to live a little longer, she may as well learn to walk again. The last time I visited, I was shocked to see her walking down the hallway (with the aid of a walker) wearing jeans and a big smile. Looks like she may make 100!
My second graduate was also in Hospice for almost 6 months. She is much younger but has only one leg and may lose the other to gangrene. But her spirits are high and her determination is strong. There is a lot of life left in her too!
I brought two gourmet cupcakes to celebrate. We shared each and ate in silence. We will miss theses times together.
As a volunteer, once they have "graduated" I can no longer visit with them. It is sad, but it is a rule I must live with. I still pray for them and wish them a full life; I just can't visit them anymore.
I sometimes wonder, if and when, they come back to Hospice, will I be assigned as their volunteer visitor again.