Celeyce Matthews, RN, BA, BSN, PHN

Raised: I was born in Berkeley and have lived all over the Bay Area and in Southern California.

How I came to hospice work: In my early 20s I had the romantic vision of wanting to hold people as they died. I knew I wasn’t ready for that though and so I put that idea aside.  I became an artist and children’s art teacher for many years. I was honored to be with my grandmother when she died at home under hospice care and that eventually inspired me to become a bedside hospice volunteer at Zen Hospice Project’s Guest House in San Francisco. I felt as if I had found my calling and became a hospice CNA and then went to nursing school to become a hospice nurse. When I graduated with  my BSN, RN (at age 49!) I got lured into the other end of life – the beginning! I became a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse and cared for critically ill and premature newborn babies. I loved caring for those tiny babies and their families but my heart still felt pulled toward hospice. After a year and a half as a NICU nurse, I joined Mission Hospice.  I am very honored to care for people at the end of life, and their families, as a hospice nurse with Mission. I feel as if I have come home.

Passions: I love orchids! I’ve been caring for them for a couple years now and I keep getting more…at this writing I have 16. I also love beach photography. My favorite place to be is on an empty, preferably stormy, beach and taking photos of the continually changing drama and natural beauty.

Currently reading: “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson

Little known fact: I used to be a ballet dancer as young person but had to quit due to chronic injuries. I then did improvisational dance for 20 years.  I also am a certified Pilates mat instructor although I haven’t taught for several years.

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