Simple Human Compassion book cover

Simple Human Compassion

Where do you turn if someone you know is facing the greatest crisis life can present? They may not be terminally ill but you have an uneasy feeling about what is happening. There are so many uncertainties when what has been relied upon all of your life isn’t working; curative medicine. The end of life is different; touch not technology is needed.  


In “Simple Human Compassion” you’ll discover:


  • How pets are included in the plan of care.
  • The myriad of locations where hospice care may be provided.
  • Dementia-related illnesses are also included in the hospice philosophy of care.
  • When hospice care is accepted soon enough normalcy will return to life as much as the disease allows; including weddings.


Even if an end-of-life crisis is not in you immediate future it is good to know that informed choices are available. Very few medical terms are used in this book because hospice is not medical. Hospice is stories, hospice is life. This highly anticipated book is already stirring people to reconsider their perception of the last stage of life.


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As someone who saw superb hospice care in action when my father died in 2012, I am a big fan.  But I also understand the fears that many of us have about the end of life.  Rick’s book can help. His stories recounting his 24-year service record as a hospice volunteer does what any good therapy does -- it illuminates through storytelling and puts on the page the stories of his experiences with hospice and how such care can ease the final days that all of us will eventually face.  Simple Human Compassion reminded me of my favorite quote, from Joan Didion. It’s the first sentence in her late 1960s essay collection, The White Album.  She says, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live."  What Rick’s book does is tell us stories that will help us understand, confront, and accept the powerful experience of a loved one’s death. 

Richard Campbell
Professor Emeritus
Department of Media, Journalism & Film
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056  


This is a brilliant, heart-warming, and insightful book full of stories from his experiences as a Hospice Volunteer and as a Hospice Patient-Contact Volunteer, as well as from memories that were shared with him by family members that had a loved one that was cared for in Hospice. This book highlights the care and compassion that Hospice offers to the dying and their family members. 

Maureen P. Keeley, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Texas State University

“One of the subliminal aspects of hospice is how we acknowledge that someone is still alive. We call people by name and don’t ask them when they were born every time we see them. We sit with people if they desire, and acknowledge they are still living and that, even now, they have wants.”
(Peace Begins, pg 66)
“One person, who I think was speaking for many, said, ‘One of the things that I wish I knew was that hospice didn’t continue to make things worse but actually made things better for my family and my dad (the person on service).’ ”
(We Don’t Make it Worse, pg 7)
“Seeking inner strength, Vickie took a deep breath and prayed, “Thy will be done.” It was a prayer she would repeat over and over during the next two weeks. With the help of her two sisters, Vickie tended to Julie in a way only a sister could.”
(Thy Will, pg 90)
“…Carla sympathized with him because she, too, loved Dodson’s chicken. She also knew that he wasn’t just missing fried chicken. Since he had mentioned a particular restaurant, she knew that this was a vitally important one-last-time type of request in disguise. Leaving the man’s room, Carla thought maybe one day during his respite stay she would bring him some Dodson’s chicken. Since Carla lives in the New Lexington area, she planned to bring in some the next day.”
(An Order of Fried Chicken, pg 100)
“The home-side staff of hospice deals with all sorts of pets, ranging from the usual dogs and cats to hamsters, cockatiels, parrots, and fish. Although, to be honest, I’ve never met a fish that had more than a passing interest in what was going on.”
(Pets are Included, pg 128)
“Looking around, he noticed his alarm clock read 3:55 a.m. The next morning, the man remembered that yesterday was the day in March when the clocks had been moved ahead one hour, meaning that technically, he was jolted awake at 4:55 a.m. Daylight Saving Time. He stared at the clock as he remembered his wife had died at 4:55 a.m. Realizing that, he smiled. Yes, she was reminding him to move the clock forward.”
(Daylight Saving Time in Heaven, pg 171)
“Marty was riding in style. At one point during the parade, so many of his friends ran out to get their picture with him sitting in the car that the parade came to a brief halt.”
“(Celebrate Independence”, pg 188)