Obituaries and Empty Spaces: Reflections on Vigil Volunteering

Debra PodishDeath and Dying

obituaries blog

A reporter from the Chicago Sun Times called me a couple of weeks ago to inquire if I knew anything about the death or funeral details of a woman who recently died at Sentara Hospital. This woman, Louise Hutchinson, was a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and her recent obituary made reference to Hospice House & Support Care. I … Read More

Getting Geared Up to Hike

Hannah CreagerUncategorized

Hike Begins

I’ve been hiking since I was two years old. My dad would bundle me up every fall and take me on a hiking trail. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia made finding a good hiking trail pretty easy, and it also made me deeply in tune with what it meant to get ready to hike. I learned from … Read More

A Whole Lotta Love at Hospice House

Hannah CreagerUncategorized

heart

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning.   This week is National Patient Recognition Week, and it’s also the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, so we’re highlighting the ways we show our love, compassion, care and appreciation to our guests and their families at Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg.   We hope … Read More

The Greatest Gift

Debra PodishDeath and Dying, Hospice

silence

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws … Read More

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

advanced-directive

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

September 2016 Blog Pic 1
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

Image Source

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

CAM00589

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

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