Maybe you’ve seen me eagerly smiling at you or asking to pet your dog or you’ve heard me laughing on the porch with friends but let me formally introduce myself. I’m Kylie, Respite’s social work intern. I hail from New York and have experience working in hospice, as well as the critical and intensive care units of a hospital. My story starts as most do at Haywood Street, as upon stepping foot on campus, I was instantly enchanted by the warmth of this special place. I knew my time here would fill my life with gratification, but I didn’t expect it to fill every crevice of my heart and soul. That gratitude shows up in big ways, like watching friends achieve goals, but also in small ways like sharing an afternoon drive, singing along to favorite songs, or dropping a friend off at school and having them turn around to shout “love you” the same way I would to my family. These moments bring so much light into my life that I find myself lingering past my shift, because home is where the heart is, and my heart is at Respite.
I’ve always trusted the path that I’ve been put on, but feeling confirmation that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be has been unworldly. Working alongside Respite’s staff and friends has been the privilege of a lifetime. I’ve never felt so part of a family, outside my own, like I do here. And that’s a lot coming from this thawed-out New Yorker heart! This is why I want to give back to the beautiful community that’s taken me in with the most welcoming, open arms.
As with life, bright days are sometimes accompanied by dark days. To shine a light on those dark days, I’ll be hosting a grief support group in the community room every Tuesday from 11am-12pm. My goal is to hold space for the grievance of any person, event, or thing and to lighten the burden of carrying these emotions. Through our relationship with each other, we’ll strive towards collaborative healing together. I invite you all to join me on this journey, or to just show up and enjoy the presence of support. But if group settings are not your thing, I’m always available to chat. Just know each of you will always have a friend in me, and I’ll carry your friendship for life.