Bill Brunstad was interested in becoming a hospice volunteer for years.

He read a book about the highs and lows of working on the front lines. He even took a class offered by HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Hospice team.

But seeing his friend Jim Dimock in the grocery store gave him added incentive. Dimock told Brunstad that being a hospice volunteer was like no other job.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘It’s the best thing I ever did,’ ” Brunstad recalled.

A year later, Brunstad was requested to be by Dimock’s bedside as an HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Hospice volunteer. Dimock’s health was failing and his family requested Brunstad’s presence.

“I told Jim, ‘I don’t feel worthy,’ ” Brunstad said. “But it was just like him to put me at ease.”

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and is an opportunity to honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, social workers and volunteers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve.

It’s also an opportunity for education.

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