If we are lucky, once or twice in our lives we’ll cross paths with someone so remarkable, our lives are changed forever. And if we’re truly fortunate, that person will have paved the way for others to carry on their warmth and beauty after they’re gone. Our friend, and volunteer co-medical director, Wayne Dodge, was one of these people.
Wayne’s legacy of grace and kindness rides on the shoulders of nearly 100 volunteers as they guide and counsel our clients to achieve their end of life wishes. His lessons of compassion and care remind us to give selflessly and receive openly. His humility guides us to never stop learning. And most of all, we are inspired by his unique understanding of how to bring comfort through genuine human connection.
Nothing exemplifies Wayne’s approach to the human spirit more than through a conversation with his daughter in his final weeks of life. She asked him for wisdom about what she should say to his grand-daughters at the milestone moments she knew he would miss. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, and life’s messy moments, like heartbreak and loss. With love, he looked at her and said, “I would need to be there, to hear and see them as full humans to know what I could offer.”
Wayne’s response embodied the respect he possessed when interacting with others. He understood better than anyone that humans were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. He believed that listening was the key to genuine relationships, and how to best heal others. In Wayne’s presence, you felt embraced, safe, and understood. In his professional life as a doctor and healer, these qualities were invaluable. As a friend, neighbor, teacher, mentor, brother, father, partner, and husband, these qualities made him irreplaceable.
Irreplaceable, but forever memorable. In his memory, Wayne’s family suggested that donations be made End of Life Washington to provide the much needed support for our services to remain free and accessible across our state. Wayne felt especially passionate about this as he knew requests from individuals seeking end-of-life support were on the rise (150 more clients this year alone) and therefore the need for staff to cultivate and support the volunteer provider community was going to be critical.
In honor of Wayne’s commitment to our community and our clients, we invite you to donate in his name. In honor of Wayne’s compassion for others, we invite you to embrace someone today with warmth and kindness.
In case you missed the previous stories, you can read Susan’s story here, Lee’s story here, George’s story here and Richard’s story here.
End of Life Washington provides free End of life care to over 600 clients each year. We are the only organization in the state that provides the education, support, and advocacy necessary to help Washington residents exercise their choice to die with dignity and autonomy. More than ever we need to protect access to, awareness of, and support for a full range of end-of-life choices.
Help us protect and support the most important decisions of our life!