The Advanced Directive: A Way to Live Like We Are Dying and Die Like We Are Living

Brenda StoutAdvanced Planning, Death and Dying, End of Life

In 2008, I knew that my mother was declining in her long battle with endometrial cancer.  My mother had never had a conversation with my family members about advanced care planning.  End-of-life discussions unfortunately felt like taboo for my parents.   Having been an oncology nurse for some time, I knew that hospice care was on the horizon.  At the time, … Read More

3 Reasons to Join A Bereavement Support Group

Hannah CreagerGrief, Hospice

Debra Podish, Director of Patient and Family Volunteer Services (left) and Hannah Creager, Chaplain (right), co-facilitators of our tri-annual bereavement support groups.

Fall is fast approaching, and so is our bereavement support group season. September 6 marked the first day of our Fall Bereavement Support Group here at Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg. We recognize that focused bereavement support groups like ours are not for everyone.  Just as everyone loves differently, everyone grieves differently. Sometimes people who have lost a loved … Read More

“Where’s the chaplain?” Reflections on Last’s Week’s Washington Post Article

Hannah CreagerChaplaincy, Death and Dying, Hospice

Last week the Washington Post published an article about death doulas.  I had an impromptu break-out dance session in my office after reading the article.  Why? I am a chaplain with a nonprofit hospice organization and there was some interesting energy coming from the comments section on this article.   In fact, some of that energy had to do with the … Read More

A Blessing of Hands

Hannah CreagerHospice

Some of the first individuals to greet our guests and their families when they walk through the door of Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg are our Companions. Our Companions are Certified Nursing Assistants, but we call them Companions because that is the heart of what they do at Hospice House.  They are the individuals who join our guests … Read More

A Celebration of Life 2016

Hannah CreagerGrief, Hospice, Uncategorized

What’s the benefit of a ritual?  What’s the purpose of having a memorial service? A funeral?  A celebration of life? When we talk about ritual in reference to grief the answer is three-fold: Rituals help restore feelings of control. When we experience any kind of loss (a death, divorce, etc.) we become aware that the world (and life in general) … Read More

5 Things to Expect in the First Year(s) of Grief

Hannah CreagerGrief

1. Expect the unexpected. Sometimes when we lose a loved one, we set expectations for ourselves around our grieving process. We think that we will feel a certain way for a certain number of weeks or months and then be done grieving. The truth is grief doesn’t abide by our expectations or the expectations of those around us. You are … Read More