article by Kelly Williams, BBH Volunteer Coordinator

Many remember the comedy “The Bucket List”, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  Although it was hilarious, it also had a serious side.  After it was released, it seemed everyone had a bucket list.  

But what exactly is a bucket list?  A “bucket list” is described as a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.  The word that stands out the most in this definition is “lifetime”, especially for those providing end-of-life care for seriously ill patients.

Recently, BBH received a request from one of our social workers asking if there was a Volunteer that could help a patient with some special projects.  Those special projects turned into the patient’s bucket list.  

While at the Dozier Hospice House for pain management, the patient met our Volunteer, Kamala Snow, and they immediately connected.  Kamala agreed to visit the patient at their home once they were released from the Hospice House.  It was during those visits they begin discussing the patient’s bucket list.  

Kamala quickly realized there was one item in particular on the list she knew she could help achieve.  The patient wanted to make pottery.  Kamala made all the arrangements, including getting all of the proper documents signed.

Thanks to Kaitlin Dressel, the patient learned to shape clay and use a pottery wheel to create something to share with her loved ones.  During the activity, the patient said, “this was the first day I have felt at peace in a long time.” 

For another item on her bucket list, we needed the help of our friends at the TMH Animal Therapy Department. Soon the patient was visited in the McCully House Garden by Cookie, the Therapy Alpaca. Kamala and the patient will continue to work together on this special “bucket list.”

Most people think being in hospice care is about giving up, but it is really a way to make peace and have the quality of life for whatever time you have left on this earth.  And, that is not dying ….. that is living!