Everyone has been stressed by the 2020 COVID pandemic … concern for the health of ourselves, family and friends…guilt because loved ones died alone…shock of an unexpected death. Now imagine volunteering to help families cope with death during these trying times. That is exactly what Kate volunteers to do with the Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care’s Grief Support Team. As a telephone counselor, she consistently stays in contact with members of a grieving family for 13 months. Is it a depressing job? Kate says “No! It’s actually very rewarding.” The families she works with inspire her as they strive to do their best, to love each other and to understand that their thoughts and behaviors are “normal.” While the families may feel that she is a gift to them through difficult times, she feels they are a gift to her. It fills her heart when she hears hope in their voices and when tears and laughter begin to intertwine as families focus on positive memories. Being a hospice social worker before retirement prepared Kate for this work, but she also says it would be hard to do without the great appreciation she feels from other members of the Grief Support Team. They say she is “thoughtful, attentive, empathetic, genuine, witty and purposeful.” She says they keep her focused on the positives and won’t allow her to be worn down. The pleasures of art, reading, writing and family also fill her time.