Hospice: My Life’s Reward
Tonesia Williams, CNA
I’ve seen so many lives lost tragically. Some have been friends but most of them were individuals I did not know. At that time, I was so devastated and heartbroken. Looking at death that way terrified me. I started to live life on the edge instead of being grateful, humble and thankful. I was mad and bitter about life. I saw so many people die and exposed in the worst way possible; even in the streets. Shortly after these feelings had filled my heart, my own grandparents became ill. I wanted to do everything I could to make them happy, comfortable and feel loved. With that experience I was motivated to begin a career in healthcare. Since then, I’ve worked in group homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals. I had experienced death in each of these setting. I had seen death from every angle but still never felt fulfilled in my role.
“My life’s reward is having a hand in helping individuals transition with dignity.”
I was later referred to Brighton Hospice by a coworker. I immediately thought to myself, “Can I handle experiencing losing patients on such a frequent basis?” After working at Brighton for a while I realized that having a hand in assisting patients in transitioning out of this life with dignity was my calling in life. Helping them to feel at ease, getting to know them on a personal level, and even sharing memories and laughter began to change me and my outlook on life. Being able to put a smile on their face and get their mind off of the challenges they are facing at that time is a wonderful feeling. It not only helps them but helps me most times as well. My life has come full circle. Instead of families crying and feeling devastated at the loss of their loved ones, I’ve had families thank me and our staff. My life’s reward is having a hand in helping individuals transition with dignity. I have seen and felt the beauty in this life given process through both patients and families. Death doesn’t always have to be tragic. It can be a peaceful and humbling experience; one in which I am grateful to be a part of. Death is part of life that we will all have to face. It can be difficult to let our loved ones go but we have an opportunity to make that as peaceful and comfortable as possible through the beauty of hospice care. It has forever changed me and my life.