We all have them. Special memories of time spent with a loved one. With perfect clarity, we remember the sounds, scents and feelings of the moment. Sometimes the collection of these moments play like a slideshow in our mind. After the death of a loved one, these memories sustain us. They connect us to the past and give us strength to move forward in our grief.
At its Annual Remembrance Event, Homeland Hospice staff and volunteers welcomed family members who have lost a loved one during the past year. Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.
Each family member was given an opportunity to share a cherished memory about his or her loved one. Afterwards, attendees selected a decorated memory rock to keep in honor of their loved one.
“I will always remember my husband’s phone calls,” remarked a widow at the event. “He would call me several times a day just to say I love you.”
When we can no longer go to our loved ones for advice, memories can serve as our compass and guide our actions.
“My mother taught me to stand tall in times of adversity,” recalled a daughter speaking about her mother. “She was pure courage under fire.”
For Amanda Thorson, a CNA with Homeland Hospice, this year’s event held added significance. Amanda’s father Joe died in February. Joe received in-home relief services through Homeland Hospice during his end-of-life journey.
“As a professional, I understood the severity of his illness,” Amanda said, “As a daughter, I was heartbroken.”
Amanda brought her family to the event to help her children in the grieving process. Recently, Amanda and her family have begun bereavement counseling through Homeland.
“Joe was my grandfather and best friend,” remarked Amanda’s daughter. “He was the glue that held our family together.”
Homeland Hospice provides bereavement support through phone calls, mailings, one-on-one consultations and support groups up to 13 months after the death of a loved one. Support groups offer self-awareness, healing, helping others, a sense of community and coping skills.
At the close of the event, Brian Medkeff-Rose, M.Div., M.A., Bereavement Counselor at Homeland Hospice reminded attendees that we have all been changed because of the people we knew and loved.
“Trust in the hope and promise of life,” Brian says. “Know that you are never alone.”
Homeland Hospice’s bereavement support program is available to the bereaved of Homeland’s patients as well as anyone in the community who is experiencing grief.
To learn more, please contact Brian Medkeff-Rose or Noelle Valentine at Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.