AT THE BEDSIDE OF A NAVY VETERAN
One of the most beautiful moments I have experienced was during my 11th Hour Volunteer shift. A Navy Veteran had passed so peacefully with his wife, daughters, Nurse, and myself at his bedside. This was without a doubt one of the most touching and meaningful experiences I have ever witnessed.
I had arrived at 4:00 a.m. to begin my 11th Hour shift at the patient’s bedside. His Nurse was present as well. Our patient was very peaceful and quiet as he lay in his bed. As his time drew quickly to the end, one daughter took her place next to her father on his bed. She hugged him one last time and all told him how much they loved him. She also told him that it was okay for him to make his final journey home.
He passed away so peacefully at that moment and was surrounded by those he loved most in his life. It was such a touching, profound moment. One that I will never forget. We each have the opportunity to be present at the very end of one’s life.
A question we often hear, “What does the 11th Hour mean?” It means the last moments. The last, most precious, most private time before passing to the next realm. It’s a time when family gathers to show love and respect to their loved ones. It’s a time of remembrance, stories, and faith.
Heart ‘n Home provides 11th Hour Volunteers as a support to patients and families. Someone who is a non-family member, who can be present and observe for any additional needs. Often times, it is just a listening ear and simply sitting with a patient. It is also necessary for caregiver respite, as they are often worn out and not sleeping near as much as they should. Volunteers are trained to know what to do and when to do it. They will make the necessary calls to the appropriate people relieving the family from this task.
11th Hour is the last of our loved ones’ physical time with us on earth. Heart ‘n Home wants that time to be comfortable and peaceful. Our 11th Hour Volunteers help us make that possible! If you are interested in learning more about becoming an 11th Hour Volunteer, please contact your local Volunteer Coordinator.
Caldwell Volunteer Coordinator
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC