Volunteering can be deeply personal – especially for Marnie Allen, who spends her time as the facilitator of the Hospice Wellington Volunteer Training course.
In August of 2006 Marnie drove into the parking lot of the Presbyterian Church on the corner of Scottsdale and Kortright to check out what Hospice was all about and signed up for the training that started in the Fall. She re-ignited a passion for teaching and the rest is a wonderful story of love and compassion. She has been intimately involved in 15 training sessions. She knew the theory of how to be a solid Hospice Volunteer. “Our duties are simple: show up, listen to incredible stories and care. We have ears with heart, we just button up and listen,” she says.“
Marnie says she has learned lessons that have been life altering. She says she really “gets it” that dying is normal and it is important to laugh and live right until your last breath.
There are no mistakes that she drove into that parking lot that day. It was to prepare her for a tremendously challenging time as a caregiver for her ex-husband, Terry.
Marnie says the life skills she learned and taught, had her ready to create a “good death” for her and her husband. Although she was sorry he was sick and passed away too young, she can still see the positives in life and death.
“This attitude helped me when Terry took his last breath. I was holding his hand, expressing love, and was able to say go in peace and take leave from your suffering.”
As a prop to a Seniors Engaged photo shoot, Marnie brought a series of stones carved out in the shape of hearts. “Those hearts mean I am sharing my heart and sharing all I can give to others. What I give out, I get back tenfold,” she says.