We spent a beautiful afternoon in the park recently remembering the patients who passed away on our service last year – and in the two years prior. The event was a Remembrance Ceremony organized by our wonderful Bereavement Coordinator, Rondi Hunt. In the past, this has been a yearly gathering, but as the pandemic has done for so many things, it has been an interrupted tradition for the past few years.
Of course, life transitions have continued all along. Babies have been born and people continue to age and die. But what has been missing for the last few years has been the ability to share space with others as we grieve, share stories, and simply feel each other’s presence.
It was a simple ceremony. A few family members and Housecall Providers staff spoke. Some poems were read. A classical guitarist played. We finished our time with a butterfly release, which leant a real sense of grace and beauty to the day. For a lot of us, it was the first time we had seen some of our co-workers in person in a long time. Similarly, many were reunited with family members that we had spent important hours with in the past. It all felt extraordinarily rich and meaningful, and truly underlined the importance of this work that we all do.
From a Volunteer Program perspective, I was struck by some of the conversations I had with family members. The thing that brought them the most comfort was their sense of having surrounded their loved one with warmth, support, and humor. That is the thing that we provide. That is the thing that lasts. As always, I am proud to work alongside all our volunteers to serve our patients and their families.