Volunteer Spotlight: Lee

Oct 27, 2022 | About Us, Bereavement, News, Volunteer Spotlight, Volunteers

As the son of a librarian, Lee has always loved books. So, when the opportunity to become a volunteer at the Hospice of the Northwest Lending Library presented itself in December 2019, he was happy to take it on.

“I’m so glad I can make a meaningful contribution to our patients and their families, as well as our staff, volunteers, and community members by taking advantage of my background and interests,” Lee said.

Lee utilized the Hospice of the Northwest bereavement support services earlier in 2019, after his wife passed away. He was a frequent user of the lending library during this time, as he said he was reevaluating the purpose of his life and learned the library needed a volunteer library manager.

Lee loves being surrounded by the compassionate and skilled staff at Hospice of the Northwest “who truly make the world a better place every day,” which is something he experienced as a caregiver for his wife during her illness. “I am so grateful for the help and support of hospice as I cared for my wife,” Lee says.


The Hospice of the Northwest Lending Library is free and open to the public. Located in the front office lobby, becoming a patron and borrowing materials is as easy as filling out a form and returning it 60 days later. Here is a short list of featured titles available for our patrons:

End of Life

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying (Maggie Callanan, Patricia Kelley)
Hospice nurses share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years of experience tending to terminally-ill patients. Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death.

Dying: A Natural Passage (Denys Cope)
A bedside manual for being with the dying, this work provides practical and insightful information about predictable stages of the dying process, including the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

Grief and Inspiration

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief (Martha Hickman)
This work has 365 concise, thought-provoking reflections, one to a page, starting with a short quote (drawing from writers, philosophers, scholars, religious sources); then a couple of short paragraphs by Hickman teasing out the theme; and finally a one-sentence reflective meditation. Whether a reader is brain-fogged from struggling with grief or just short of time in a busy life, the small bites of perspective can illuminate without requiring concentrated time and attention.

Widow to Widow: Thoughtful, Practical Ideas for Rebuilding Your Life (Genevieve Ginsburg)
This work walks readers through the challenges of widowhood and encourages them on their path to building a new life. Written by a therapist and widow, it offers fellow widows — as well as their family and friends — advice for coping with loss. Ginsburg give guidance on many topics, including dealing with anger and guilt, maintaining family relationships, surviving the holidays and anniversaries, dating after widowhood, responding to others’ support, etc.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand (Megan Devine)
Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to “solve” grief. Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, this work offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face―in our personal lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the wider world.

Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet (Joan Halifax)
An evocative examination of how we can respond to suffering, live our fullest lives, and remain open to the full spectrum of our human experience. Halifax, a humanitarian, social activist, anthropologist, and Buddhist teacher, has collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how: contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social transformation; how our greatest challenges can become the most valuable source of our wisdom; and how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for the benefit of others.

Living with Grief (multivolume series published by Hospice Foundation of America)
This series of volumes of collected writings from many authors covers, among other topics: Before and After the Death, Children and Adolescents, Grieving beyond Gender, Helping Adolescents Cope with Loss, Grief After Sudden Loss; Grief Since COVID-19; Grief When Illness is Prolonged.


The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can’t Find the Words (Susan Halpern)
An encouraging guide for patients, their caregivers, and their family and friends to help with navigating the complex terrain of illness. This collection of anecdotes and insights will help those who feel awkward and unsure about responding to a friend, colleague, or relative who is suffering – and also people who are ill and want to engage with their loved ones effectively.

I’m Here to Help: A Guide for Caregivers, Hospice Workers, and Volunteers (Catherine Ray)
This practical, caring, step-by-step guide is a standard text for the millions of professionals who are committed to taking care of those suffering from chronic or terminal illness and their families. I’m Here to Help imparts the skills and techniques necessary to facilitate communication in a succinct style and provides tips on how to initiate painful discussions, listen effectively, manage defensiveness in both the family and patient, and other vital issues.

The library is run entirely by volunteers and funded by the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation. You can search our catalog through the Burlington Public Library website. Simply choose “Hospice of the Northwest Library” as the location and then search by title, author or subject.

Learn more about the Lending Library on our website.

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