Sheryl Enos rents a two-bedroom apartment that resembles a sophisticated tree house. She climbs a steep set of stairs to enter and exit the abode. She spends most of her time at home, sitting on a couch, either watching television (the Discovery channel is her favorite), playing video games (her son downloaded a few onto an iPad for her) or making baby blankets for her grandchildren (still to be conceived). “I am making baby blankets because some day I hope to be a grandmother and I may not be alive when the child is born,” she said. “I made blankets for everyone in the family so that after I am gone they will be able to wrap themselves up and hopefully feel the love that I had for them.”

She enthusiastically welcomes guests into this home she shares with her son Daniel, 29, and immediately pardons her appearance. “I would have put mascara on but I have no eyelashes,” she says. Instead she wears teal eye shadow, the same color as the shirt she is wearing. She is bald and doesn’t wear a wig. “It wouldn’t look right without eyebrows,” she says. She extends her legs to show off a gift from her son, wool socks he brought home from Bulgaria. “He got me these because my feet are always cold and he wanted something that would fit in his luggage. Otherwise I always want artwork,” she said with a chuckle.

Ms. Enos is a 50-year-old hospice patient who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013. She is also a mother, sister, daughter, art enthusiast and former hospice caregiver. “I took care of many people right until the very end . . . . I can honestly say I take comfort in knowing that Meg will be with me when my turn comes,” she said.

Meg is Meg Verret, a patient care coordinator at Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard who cares for Ms. Enos.

The cancer diagnosis came two years ago, following perennial bouts of pneumonia. “I was diagnosed with pneumonia every year, and evidently those are the symptoms of lung cancer,” she said. A CT scan revealed a large tumor in her left lung.

The staff includes nurses, bereavement counselors and more. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Jill De La Hunt, a hospice bereavement counselor, visits with Ms. Enos regularly too, counseling her family and loved ones. This includes facilitating conversations around discomfort for the patient and anticipatory grief for families. Hospice bereavement counselors also support families who go through pregnancy loss, miscarriages and stillbirths. “I’d say that’s about as far of an age range as you can get,” said Ms. De La Hunt.

The Vineyard hospice program, which operates unfettered by insurance restriction and provides services free of charge to all its clients, relies heavily on donations and holds a number of fundraisers throughout the year. The annual summer soiree, a key fundraising event, will be held on Monday at the Farm Neck Golf Club. Executive director Terre Young underscored the distinction between Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and other programs. “Most hospices are financed and reimbursed by Medicare,” she said. “And Medicare will only take you onto service and pay for your care if two doctors say your disease will take its natural course and you will most likely be dead in six months. For 34 years we have purposefully stayed out of reimbursement streams so that anyone can come to us.”

She said the community supports hospice, so that hospice can in turn support the community.

Hospice staff members reflected on their experience working with patients from all walks of life. “Our culture has pushed death and dying away and it is considered an enemy,” said Betsy Marshall, a hospice nurse. “It is a given right for everybody to die well and in comfort, knowing that they have people who love them around and knowing that everything has been taken care of.”

One hospice patient who did not want his name used went through a sort of magical transformation and was able to release all of his worry. He said: “I am so excited for this next adventure!” referring to his last days of life.

Other patients make wishes that hospice does its best to fulfill. Ms. Enos expressed a craving for a Grace Church lobster roll. “Holy mackerel!” she said. “When you tell them you are going to take it to go — the amount of lobster they give you. I missed out on everything because I was working. I haven’t even had my life’s fill of lobster yet!” She doesn’t have a car and seldom leaves her home. No matter, that’s where Ms. De La Hunt comes in.

“She’s getting one tomorrow. I will bring it to her,” she said.

The benefit summer soiree and auction for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard will be held on Monday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Farm Neck Golf Club, with food by Jaime Hamlin and music by Peter Sawyer. For tickets and information call 508-693-0189 or go to