News

Working with the dying is a privilege

  • by Kate Bowman
  • April 26, 2023

Busselton woman Linda Smith isn’t a nurse or a doctor, but has the privilege of being with people in their last moments.

A volunteer at Busselton Hospice Care Inc, she’s part of a 30-year-effort in the seaside community to ensure no-one need die, or grieve, alone.

“The stories that you are told are amazing and you go home quite heartened … they have impacted on my life,” she said.

“Sometimes [patients] talk about their very early days and they remember when they were children, and when they first came to live in Australia.”

Patients also talk about families and their pets.

She is part of a group of trained volunteers who keep overnight vigils.

“Our philosophy is we don’t have anyone who has to die alone,” Ms Smith said.

“One of the volunteers is able to sit with the patient through the night, hold their hands, just talk to them very quietly, because hearing is the last thing to go.

“The nurses come in and out during the night, but we are there constantly and sit beside them.”

Click here to continue reading the full heart-warming story from ABC South West News.

Photo: Linda Smith is one of a few trained volunteers who keep overnight vigils on the dying. ()

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