May 06, 2016 at 07:22 PM

Bill White

By Sarah House

On Monday morning, I went along with the Hospice nurse over to a small room on Robbins Street, a converted garage really. “Bill White” was lying in the middle of a tiny room, lying on a mattress badly stained with sweat and urine. He had not been able to get up for three days. His face had several days’ growth of beard, full now of spittle and tobacco. Pain and suffering were everywhere on his face. I knelt down next to him and took his hand as carefully as I could. “You look really uncomfortable,” I said. “I am” he replied. “Would you come to Sarah House and let us take care of you?” He softly said, “I will.”

The ambulance brought him over an hour later. He was barely alive, his lungs filled with fluids and his difficult breathing was hard to witness. He said he had a sister but hadn’t been able to reach her for several months. In a matter of hours we had found her, asked the wonderful folks at the Dream Foundation to do their magic and the next afternoon she arrived at the Santa Barbara Airport. We drove her to Sarah House, barely stopping for the stoplights. She immediately took Bill in her arms. She was able to tell him the essentials, “I love you, Bro. Don’t stay here any longer. Give my love to Mom.” Bill died in her arms a few minutes later. Our Hospice work had begun.

Posted in Resident Stories.


To all the wonderful staff at Sarah House, words cannot express the gratitude I have for what you all did for my grandma and my entire family. You helped me look at death as a beautiful journey that grandma was on, it really helped us get through a very difficult time. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but there in your serene environment. I feel very fortunate that we got to be there with her.