Colby White Shares his thoughts on being a Volunteer Visitor
In 2002, Colby White decided to follow his heart. He had long-time interest in death and dying and a commitment to serving others. So that spring, Colby enrolled in Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s volunteer visitor training.
“Spending time with my hospice clients is probably as important to me as it is to them. Like most of us, I think I have lingering doubts and fears about dying. I feel it’s important in my own march toward death to be around people, incredible teachers, who are modeling death for me.”
Colby is one of over 100 hospice volunteer visitors who, after completing 36 hours of specialized training, offer their support to hospice patients. As a member of the hospice team, volunteers offer support, companionship and an often needed break for caregivers. Like a good neighbor, they can also help with practical needs like helping to prepare a meal.
“There are moments that I have had with my Hospice clients that are just extraordinary. I value those moments immensely. When somehow, with grace, I become fully present with the person I’m sitting with. I don’t know how it happens — time stands still — when I stop talking, and there’s no need to DO anything—just to be present. Those are very special moments. And you just don’t find those moments in the everyday run around of life.”