Vonja & Dave’s Story
Vonja is grateful that she and Dave had five years to prepare after Dave was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive disease with no cure. They made a bucket list, they got their affairs in order and Dave taught Vonja how to do the outside chores.
Grateful for Compassion
The day came when their doctor referred them to hospice. In the first visit everything was explained and Vonja and Dave learned about all that was available to them. They learned about the volunteers and how they could write letters for Dave or run errands; they learned about the chaplains and the massage therapists. Oh, how Dave’s eyes lit up when he heard about that.
The time came for the hospital bed to come to the house. The hospice nurse helped Vonja understand how the last days would go. She explained that Dave’s hearing would be the last thing to go and it would be OK to put the dogs on the bed with him. When Dave passed, Vonja called hospice and they took care of everything.
You might think Vonja’s story ends here, but it doesn’t. She got a call a couple weeks after Dave passed from the bereavement coordinator, inviting her to attend a support group session. Vonja thought it was too soon, but the coordinator reminded Vonja, “Isn’t Dave’s birthday coming up, and your anniversary?” At that moment, Vonja thought, “This lady knows more about what I need than I do.”
In the final session Vonja attended, she learned that no story is the same, no death is the same and no one heals the same.
“Asante was there for Dave, and after he died they were there for me.”
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“There is incredible power in doing good. The golden rule should be more than a rule – it should be a purpose.”
—Gene Pelham, Rogue Credit Union