On Friday, May 10, Hospice of Hilo hosted self-proclaimed “Jollytologist” Allen Klein to speak to the organization’s staff, volunteers and board members.
Klein is an award-winning keynote public speaker and best selling writer who shows audiences worldwide how humor can help them deal with everyday trials and tribulations as well as triumphing over tragedy.
“This unusual career began shortly after my wife died as a result of a rare liver disease. I started to explore the value of humor because of the important role it played before, during and after her death,” Klein said.
In 2009 Klein was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
“We decided to bring in Allen as a small way of saying ‘thank you’ to our dedicated staff, volunteers and board members for all they do to ensure that no one in our community has to journey down the last part of life’s path alone and for all they do to make sure that all individuals and families that receive Hospice of Hilo care can live better,” said Hospice of Hilo spokesperson, An Umamoto.
“Allen asked us to blow up a balloon and let it go during the presentation – symbolizing our stress. I still have that balloon thumb tacked to my cubicle. It just reminds me that stress is a bunch of hot air that we need to learn to let go. He reminded us to get in touch with our inner child and to have fun. It was such a joy to watch everyone around me, laughing and having a ball. They’re laughter was contagious and made me feel that much happier,” hospice nurse Yvonne Brown said.
Since 1983, Hospice of Hilo has been meeting the end-of-life, bereavement and palliative care needs for the East and South portions of the Big Island.
For further information about Hospice of Hilo services, call 969-1733.