“If you ever call End of Life Washington about your or a loved one’s end-of-life choices, I hope Kathleen is the first person you reach. In the tenderest moments, Kathleen deftly balances depth of heart and presence, levity, and practical help with matters that can be daunting to even the most courageous among us.”
~ Judy Kinney, Executive Director
As the first point of contact for many End of Life Washington clients, Kathleen knows how emotional those first calls can be. Her call with Dan was no different. Dan called from 800 miles away on behalf of his aunt and cousin to get more information about how End of Life Washington could help his aunt in Spokane, WA.
“When people call on behalf of a loved one, as Dan did for Aunt B, they are just so grateful. They have had all their choices taken from them, and I am here to remind them that they have choices in their death. We talk about death so that they can spend the rest of their days living, it is gratifying, and that is why I do what I do.” ~ Kathleen D’Amelio, Support Specialist
“Dan was very dear – he was understandably upset. He wanted to help his aunt and support his cousin. Living in California and separated by distance from his family, he may have felt helpless. I was so pleased that he could find us. He was able to take the very important first step for his family, by making the call. Instead of feeling helpless, he took a concrete step that brought some sense of support to his aunt, cousin and himself.”
“I kept telling him to take a breath and reassuring him that my time was his and that we would get there together. Providing that human voice of reassurance and supporting clients and families in their end-of-life choices keeps me going daily.”
Kathleen joined End of Life Washington in 2019 as a volunteer and quickly became an employee. Her passion for this work shines in her calm, understanding presence over the phone. Kathleen receives between 125-160 calls every month. As the first point of contact for so many of our clients, Kathleen guides people through tender conversations. She explains the law, answers questions, and always stays present and calm while working through every emotional call.
Read Aunt B’s full story here.
It takes extraordinary and well-trained people to be present and to guide clients and their loved ones through the aid-in-dying process. Kathleen’s story is just one of many ways your charitable contributions allow us to continue to provide support for a full range of end-of-life choices free of charge. To support access to end-of-life choices, click the donate button below.
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