It takes a special person to be a hospice volunteer.

Deneen Duran is just that type of special person.  Deneen works as a patient companion as well as a bereavement services volunteer.  

“Medicare requires thirteen months of bereavement care as part of hospice services.  I make those calls and find out how people are doing,” said Deneen.  “Sometimes they like to talk, and sometimes they just say ‘Thank you for thinking of me’ and let me know they are doing okay.” 

Deneen said she has had experience with bereavement calls.  “When my husband died, I got those calls.  You don’t want to burden your friends with your grief, and I found I got a lot of strength from those calls.  I had hospice for my father and mother in Georgia and July 2015 for my husband.  I have experienced Hospice, and I wanted to help someone else.  I truly get more than I give.” 

“It is interesting,” said Deneen.  “A lot of my friends say that they don’t know how I do that.  I don’t see it as a difficulty.  Typically patients and families see that we care, that I understand what they are going through.  I feel that I can be there for them.” 

“I had a couple of widowers, and I call them and listen.  They describe their feelings.  For example, they may not be able to take their loved one’s clothing out of the closet.  These people are so grateful that someone thinks of what they are going through and understands.  And the listening makes you grateful for everything and every day that you have.” 

“When I talk to families, I always hear about the outstanding care and how happy they are that the Hospice was there for them, said Deneen.  “I believe I can lend an ear or hold a hand, a little act of kindness during a hard time.”

“I remember when Kathy Wilds first approached me about doing bereavement calls, and I thought I could do that.  Each day when I come to make calls, I sit in the car and pray for strength to do this task for others.  I haven’t cried yet.”  

Volunteers like Deneen are a vital part of the Hospice team. For more information about volunteering with Hospice & Community Care contact us at 803-329-1500 or info@hospicecommunitycare.org.

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