Long-time donor to Memorial Family of Services. Widow of renowned physician Case Gottlieb. Well-known volunteer at Cottage in the Meadow.
Cottage in the Meadow, as you know, is a hospice facility on South 40th Avenue, near Randal Park. And it really is to me a cottage in the meadow. I didn’t know if I could do the hospice volunteering, but I decided it wasn’t about me, it was about them. And it’s fantastic for patients to come and especially for their families to come and be with their loved ones because when the end is coming, it’s a place of comfort. It does not prolong death, nor does it hasten death.
Why did you choose to become a volunteer at Cottage in the Meadow?
I volunteer because my husband had hospice for 6 days at home and they were fantastic. I remember Maria, one of the nursing assistants, she came and she shaved my husband and bathed him and he was like a new man after Maria was there, and they really were angels of mercy. And that was why when the time was appropriate I decided I would like to be a part of it.
What kind of impact do you hope to make by serving as a volunteer?
Apart from the fact it does my soul good, I hope that maybe it helps other people and then maybe when they see volunteers doing their thing, if you will, and enjoying it, then hopefully other people will say I’d like to be part of that.
How important is The Memorial Foundation to Cottage in the Meadow?
I’m sure the Cottage wouldn’t be here without it because people saw how worthwhile it was and were willing to donate and I think will still keep on donating, not just for the Cottage, but other worthwhile things. I think people get or there’s something they like and they’re just going to keep on giving, I hope.
How do you describe the team at Cottage in the Meadow?
They’re indescribable. They’re absolutely fantastic. They are so gentle and the patient is always number one. They’re just unbelievably gentle and I can’t describe them adequately. Maybe I take them for granted. They’re just fantastic human beings who are very unselfish and just think of not just the patients, but their co-workers, and it’s lovely to see them working together.
What has Cottage in the Meadow taught you about life?
Life is for the living and that even as somebody is dying, we have life all around us. And since there are quite often children visiting, we also have a lot of laughter. And I think that would make families feel very good – that they don’t have to be somber all the time. When I was growing up, the nuns used to say you have to pray for a happy death and I always thought it was an oxymoron, but actually at Cottage in the Meadow it is not. One does see a happy death there.
To view her video biography click here.