If you are one of my (6) loyal readers, then you probably know I've started volunteering for Hospice. It started over a year ago, when I heard this story about vigil volunteering, which is sitting with people who are actively dying (yes, that's a real term) and thought, "I could do that."
I spoke to a Hospice nurse in my parish, and she connected me with the volunteer coordinator at the local Hospice organization. I dragged some parishioners in with me, and a few of us did the initial training for volunteers there this past spring.
I have learned a lot from being on the volunteer-end of things, where I usually am the coordinator of the volunteers- mostly that when someone like me feels called to volunteer in a particular way, we'll be willing to work for it, give time, and fulfill expectations- that how rewarding that is.
Another part of me, though, is feeling a little like a victim of the ol' bait-and-switch. At the information meeting the Hosp. coordinator gave at my parish for those of us who wanted to do vigil work, they told us that we'd need to participate in a 9 week training. Okay. Then, we found out we'd have to do 6 months of direct care volunteering, before doing a vigil volunteer training. Ah... fine. Now I'm 4 months through the 6 months of DC volunteering, and it's nice enough- as it turns out, visiting dying people is pretty much exactly the same thing as visiting living people- and that, I could do through work- I am not doing what I want to do.
Tonight at the volunteer support group, our (lovely, really) coordinator said that pretty soon, they'd be starting to plan vigil volunteer training, which is something she's never done before, and didn't exactly know how to do.
I'm wondering if (despite the worthwhile training and good experience so far) I should have just called a hospital to begin with, almost 2 years ago, and offered to start a NODA list there. Toot-sweet. At this point, I've come awfully far to turn back, but I'm frustrated.
Another valuable lesson in volunteer coordination!