What a Wonderful World

By: Kate McNamara, Angela Hospice Volunteer

As he sat down to talk about his experience volunteering at Angela Hospice, Kevin Murphy said his life is boring. That statement is something the Irish refer to as blarney. As you will see, Kevin's life is anything but boring.

Kevin has been a spiritual care volunteer at the Care Center for four years. He assists at the Saturday afternoon masses and visits patients at the Care Center on Sunday mornings. He is a Eucharistic Minister, and also engages in a ministry of presence, which involves prayer, conversation, and sometimes silence.

“There are ebbs and flows with conversation,” he said. “It’s whatever they feel like talking about, from the books they’re reading to sports. I love to hear the stories.”

He also enjoys getting to know patient’s families and said oftentimes he prays with the family members too. Kevin also feeds patients and helps with direct care under the supervision of medical staff. He finds it all part of spiritual care.

Kevin said he volunteers at Angela Hospice because it’s wonderful. Kevin was introduced to Angela Hospice when his father, who received Angela Hospice home care, passed away 20 years ago from cancer.

Kevin has been a spiritual care volunteer for four years.
“Volunteering at Angela Hospice has changed me,” Kevin said. “It helped me to understand and appreciate life, including those last weeks of life that can really be high quality.”

Kevin said that one of his first patients made an indelible impression on him. She told him, “When she wakes up, she knows it’s a gift from God. Maybe the sun is shining or she gets a visit from a loved one, she just appreciates all of it.”

To explain Angela Hospice to those who may not be familiar with it, Kevin talked about the medical staff and the grounds.

“The thing that sticks out is the amazing medical staff,” he said. “What I hear about them from patients is that they are kind, courteous, efficient, and professional. Another thing I would tell them is how beautiful the facility is. The decor, the sitting areas, the courtyards, the spacious rooms, the flowers, the bird feeders, the natural light.”

To sum up his experiences with Angela Hospice, Kevin said “what I’ve seen is the opportunity at the end of life for quality interaction with friends and loved ones.”

Married over 30 years with two children and two grandchildren, Kevin's face lit up as he thought of his family. He is the Director of Customer Service at Technology Solutions. He has a degree in Pastoral Ministry from Sacred Heart Seminary. He serves on the Board of Gianna House, a ministry for pregnant teenagers that provides them with housing as well as educational training and development.

Asked whether he has a motto, Kevin laughed.

“My kids would say my motto is to always look on the bright side,” he said.

He also has a theme song. In fact, he danced to it with his daughter at her wedding, “What a Wonderful World.” And he says it is.

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