As we wind down the week’s corporate spa events centred on National Day, one event particularly stood out. It was a lunch-cum-massage treat sponsored by Young NTUC, as tribute to the staff of Assisi Hospice.
The venue was the education centre of the hospice – a humble, no-frills room where furniture and training equipment were pushed to the sides to make way for the foot reflexology stations and lunch buffet. The chairs were a mishmash of sorts, having been donated by various sponsors. The atmosphere was somewhat dreary, with the lingering reminder of death just down the corridor…not what you’d typically expect of a corporate spa venue.
But what came after we set up our foot reflexology stations instantly lifted the mood. The hospice staff began strolling in, filling the room with lively chatter and bright smiles. It was clearly a day they had been looking forward to, a day to celebrate the nation’s birthday and the lives of those who have helped in nation-building. It was also a rare time for the staff to kick off their shoes and allow themselves to be pampered.
MP Desmond Choo, the VIP that day, delivered a most heart-rending speech. He recognised that working in a hospice can’t be easy. You forge friendships with the patients, some of who go home after recovering but most go home to the Lord. There is no glitz, glamour or glory to speak of. Is has to be, quite simply, an answer to one’s calling.
A corporate massage for the hospice staff was therefore very apt for this occasion. It serves as recognition of their selfless work and a chance for them to relieve stress. It was such a humbling experience for us and indeed a great honour to serve them.
To all nurses and staff working in hospitals, hospices and homes, and those providing home care: Thank you for caring for our patients, including those living out their last days. We salute you!