The Hospice Volunteer ~


Weaving a Fabric of Faith



by Joyce Marie Sheldon


author, inspirational speaker

- specializing in keynotes, conferences,

retreats and workshops

for hospice and home care agencies 


She came very quietly into our lives - the hospice volunteer.  It seemed as though someone had chosen a friend for us - out of a catalog - matching her sweet and sensitive spirit to our deep despair and emotional fatigue. 



She sat quietly in the living room on the days when I was unable to speak.  She lingered with me over a cup of tea when all I needed was her silent presence.  And when my needs grew - especially my need for words of faith and trust - she drew a small book from her purse and read a passage that touched my heart.  She didn't lecture or preach - simply shared a few comforting words that seemed to fill every ounce of air that had previously hung so heavily over the room.



Oh, I loved that hospice volunteer!



On the morning my husband died, all of a sudden she was in the living room, sitting quietly and sedately in a chair near the window.  Who had called her?  Not me ... but there she was.  Her sacred presence, her respectful demeanor, the way she remained outside the circle of family and yet, an integral part - oh, I am so grateful.  I knew she was there, and yet, the blessing of her presence was not fussy or loud or directing or controlling.   


She was part of the fabric of our faith.  She had seen me cry, watched me move thru doubt and despair.  When I didn't think I could go on, her hand on my shoulder gave me strength.  When I was sinking physically and emotionally, she lifted me up.  Her heart reached out to me with understanding and compassion - a stranger who had become a friend - a single thread of hospice which had become part of the fabric of my days.



Hospice and Home Care have become like another child to me since the experiences of those care giving days 12 years ago - a child to whom I am totally dedicated - a child I am committed to nurturing and inspiring - a child whom I love - and will love - forever.



Thank you to each and every hospice volunteer.  You have woven the fabric of my life.  Every stitch in the fabric of my faith has been bound tightly so that I might serve others.  Every thread you wove, with vibrant colors of blue and red and gold, has made me who I am today - a hospice and home care advocate - and a woman who loves you ... always.






presented by
Joyce Marie Sheldon
author of From Fear to Faith,
  a Caregiver's Journey 


It gives me great pleasure to offer this retreat

 for those beautiful spirits who serve

 those who are at the end of life

 - and their caregivers -

 without compensation

 other than bouquets of gratitude

 and gifts of eternal love.



Inter-active     Inspiring     Informative 


"I loved every minute of this retreat -

and I really needed the inspiration." 


"You soft voice and gentle demeanor

 created just the right atmosphere

 to return me to my commitment

 to hospice."



A Volunteer's Retreat
Session 1 Overview

 Running on Empty


1.  Identifying the tools available in your "Spiritual Tool Box"

to assist in dealing with challenges of daily life, both personal and professional


2.  Identifying and assessing the stumbling blocks  

encountered during personal and spiritual growth


3.  Identifying and discussing solutions to simplify the growth process

A Volunteer's Retreat

Session 2 Overview


Creating your Mission Statement


1. Preparing a life document  

which describes your beliefs


2.  Identifying your vision and

 avenues for fulfilling your mission


 3.  Identifying and examining the

Stepping Stones to Inner Peace



A Volunteer's Retreat 

Session 3 Overview


 Framing Forgiveness



 Through meditation and discussion,

this session removes old "stones" from

your shoe and enables you to "walk" better!  


1.  Identifying the "stones"


 2.  Creating a plan for easy removal and protection

from future "stones"



INTER-ACTIVE                INSPIRING                 INFORMATIVE




It's a pleasure to offer

A Volunteer's Retreat


WHERE:  at your location

(I travel from Charlotte, NC)


WHEN:  Call or email for scheduling











And now we approach the second word - UNDER -  

and zero in on the letter "U" -


It would have been easy to use the word UNDERSTANDING, but something kept nagging at me while I contemplated this letter.  I felt there was something more, something better.  And then it came to me - UN - as in UNattachment or UNnecessary or UNable. 


 As a caregiver, and as a patient, it is so wonderful to reach the "city" of UNattachment.  By that I mean. not being attached to the outcome.  Rather, living in the present moment for whatever it is, experiencing the highs and lows, the pain and pleasure.   


Have you ever been with someone who is experiencing the last days of his or her life?  It is usually known to them before it is known to us.  And often they have an UNattachment to the things of the world, focusing instead, most importantly, on family and the movement of their soul.


For those of us who face daily challenges of another kind - financial, relationship, etc. - being UNattached to the outcome of the situation provides a bit of breathing space.  We are only human and can only do our best to change or rectify a situation.  Remaining UNattached to the things of the world can become a valuable tool in creating inner peace.  Yes, we all have to live in this world.  The bills continue to pile up on the desk, the errands never cease, but trust me, that is reality.  What is a step above and beyond the reality of this life is UNattachment to it and a connection to all that is greater, better, bigger and more profound.  


UNattachment requires exercise of the heart and mind.  Here are a few tips:


1.  Spend a few moments alone with yourself - no music, computer, telephone.   Listen to the quiet and the sound of your own breath.  This will help you to re-connect with your spirit which has spent a busy day with the things of the world.


2.  Create a ritual of peace - discover what makes you feel good.  Is it music?  Is it art?  Is it a walk in the park?  Love yourself enough to discover what it is and promise yourself you will provide the "food" which will nurture peace within your heart.


3.  Protect yourself from those who drink from your cup, but do not replenish what they have taken.  They will zap your energy - both physically and spiritually.  Surround yourself with those who nurture and inspire you.  They are your vitamins, so to speak.  Get rid of the junkfood of poor relationships.


And remember, just as in the article above regarding volunteers, YOU weave the fabric of your life.  It is you who chooses the colors and textures.  You create the pattern.  Step back and look at your fabric - do you like it?  Is it becoming a tapestry of love and peace? Celebrate that which you love.  Change what needs to be changed.  It's YOUR fabric! 


In love,





P. S. Thank you for your comments and suggestions.  I really appreciate your input and it's great to connect with so many wonderful people across the country and around the world.   


May you be blessed with a peaceful heart