TAMPA — In my time working with families before and after a loss, I have often been amazed by the capacity of some individuals to find peace amidst the chaos, beauty amidst the darkness and hope amidst the pain.
Karlyle Knox, a staff member for LifePath Hospice, wrote those words in a story expressing the benefits of working with the dying.
Hers was one of 41 entries in the program booklet distributed last year at the Hospice's annual fundraising event, Island Night.
Now, the Hospice is inviting volunteers, family members and staffers who have developed relationships with patients to submit their stories by June 27 for this year's booklet.
The booklet will be given as a keepsake at this year's Island Night charity event Nov. 9 at Jackson's Bistro on Harbour Island.
"Oftentimes people think the hospice story is a very sad story, which it is because it involves personal loss. But there is also a lot of gain," said Liz Anderson, who is in charge of annual giving for the Hospice. "This book is to show people how hospice care can change your life and teach you really invaluable lessons."
Webster's New World Dictionary defines hospice as "a place of shelter for travelers" or "a home for the sick and poor." LifePath Hospice, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, strives to fulfill both concepts by providing inspiration to loved ones, as well as a place where patients traveling the road of life can come to reflect on their lives. Knox's story tells of such inspiration:
I used to believe that these individuals were born with an amazing sense of optimism. However, they have taught me that you find what you are looking for.
"Our slogan is to make the most of life," Anderson said. "There's two goals to the book: it's to share our hospice story in a really positive fashion, and also to inspire people."
Jonathan Milton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3374.