Spring! The calendar says 3 weeks. But we can hardly complain. It has been a mild winter. But there is something about the promise of spring and the week ahead does look promising for mild temperatures! Hopefully March will bring an early spring and more of the the sunshine I so love. The days are becoming longer and I would love to begin to think of outside chores and activities. I always begin thinking about decorating the outdoor patio at this point in time (at least in my mind). One of my favorite spots is the old porch swing. I love to sit on it and watch the world go by. It gives me great peace, and occasionally I’ll grab a nap after a busy day at work. It is my get-a-way for a few needed moments.
As March brings springtime, I hope it also brings for you sunshine and hope in the new season. It is only natural to have dreary days mixed in with the sunshine, so don’t be discouraged when they creep in. Just try to stay focused. Plan an activity that will bring you joy, and act upon it. Have lunch with a friend, feed the ducks, or take a walk. But whatever you do, look for that moment or activity that gives you a few minutes of peace, and bask in its warmth. It may be what gets you through the next season.
But no matter where you find yourself as you read this, remember that we at Hospice of Guernsey are here to lend you support along the way. Our upcoming events for the month of March are as follows:
March 9- “Lunch Bunch” at Mr. Lee’s at Noon
March 14-Lunch Bunch at Barnesville Library Annex at Noon
March 23-Breakfast support group at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9:00 AM
March 29-“Coffee with Chris” MEN ONLY coffee group to meet the last Wednesday of the month at 9:00 AM at the East Wheeling McDonald’s in Cambridge. Chris Dyer was our former Chaplain and will be leading the group.
April 21-23-Discovering Joy in the Journey women’s widow retreat. Thanks to a grant from The John W. and Edna McManus Shepard Fund through The Columbus Foundation. Hospice of Guernsey will be hosting it’s first ever women’s retreat at Salt Fork Lodge. Cost is suggested minimum donation of $25 and spaces are limited. For more info call me.
If you have questions about any of the events, or you just need someone to talk to, call me at 740-432-7440. I CAN meet with you one on one. May spring shine upon you!
By now you have had time to settle in to the new year just a little bit. Christmas decorations are down and tucked away for another year. To many, that may seem like a relief. Many emotions are flying at the thought of what the new year might hold. To some, it may mean a new beginning…this year has to be better than the last. Others might wonder how they can possibly go on…face the new year without their loved one. By now you have come to the realization that the world does not stop for you, no matter if you feel that it should. I am here to encourage you that things will get easier. You will in some way adjust. But I want to encourage you not to go at it alone. Find someone that will be a support and encouragement to you in the days and weeks ahead. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If on person falls, the other can reach out and help.” If you feel you need someone to talk to, I am available for one on one time. There are also many events that take place throughout the month that you might find helpful. Give some of them a try.
February 9-“Lunch Bunch” at Mr. Lee’s at Noon
February 14-ATTENTION-Lunch Bunch in Barnesville will meet at Georgia Gallagher’s house due to conflict at the annex
February 23-Breakfast Support Group at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9:00 AM
If you have any questions about any of the events, or you find yourself just needing a listening ear, call me at 740-432-7440.
A new year is upon us! Where does the time go? When I was young, I hated it when someone said how fast the time went, for as a child, I didn’t believe it and I couldn’t wait for the years to pass! Now it is sometimes just a reminder of what was. It is sometimes hard not to wish those days and years back. But, as we are so aware, we cannot! We do, however, need to remind ourselves to make the most of today and pray for a happier tomorrow.
For many of you, this New Year may only be a reminder of who will not be with you as you face tomorrow. A friend once shared four little words with me that might help to make a difference in your days. They are “I have a choice”. We can choose to worry and be upset at life’s circumstances, or we can choose to move ahead one day at a time, making our life count for something. It has been said…”Those who grieve well–heal well! They also live well-living in the now! I hope we can begin to do that together in the coming year.
January 10-Lunch Bunch at Barnesville Library Annex at Noon. Bring your lunch
January 12-Lunch Bunch at Lee’s at Noon
January 26-Breakfast at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9:00 AM
If you have any questions, call me at 740-432-7440. I am also available for one-on-one time. Remember that together and with support, we can make it through each new day.
As you enter the last month of the year, you have already survived one major holiday of the season. I hope that as you focused on the true meaning of Thanksgiving, you were able to give thanks for something good in your life. But don’t stop now; for the Christmas holiday is upon us! Just as I encouraged you to look at the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I urge you to do something similar at Christmas. The author of this poem states her feelings beautifully!
It can’t possibly be Christmas without her being here. Yet the world is singing ’round me, joyful tidings and good cheer.
Though I try to put on armor and brave the sights and sounds, a few moments worth of shopping, and the tears are spilling down.
I pray for strength to do it, find a path through holidays, look for shortcuts, good ideas, and some directions through the maze.
Then I find at last the answer; I’ll include her symbolically. And the giving becomes perfect; her love’s flowing down, through me. Genesse Boudeau Gentry
Sometimes it only takes a new perspective to help us get through the toughest times. I pray you will allow your loved one to shine through you in some way this holiday season. We will be meeting together to remember our loved ones at the Holiday Memorial Service on December 6. We will light a candle in their honor/memory, sing a chorus or tow and share a good story with those around us.
December 6…Memorial Service 5:00 PM at Southgate Hotel in Cambridge
December 8…Lunch Bunch at Lee’s at Noon
December 13…Lunch Bunch at Barnesville Library Annex at Noon
December 22…Breakfast at Patty’s at 9:00 AM
I am available by phone or appointment. For more information on the above events, call 740-432-7440. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a Happier New Year!
Fall is now upon us! Fall forces us to reevaluate some things. Our wardrobe is one of them. It is time to pull out the heavier insulation! We need extra protection from the elements and surrounding environment. This may also be true for you at this point in your grief journey. Extra or additional precautions must be taken for you to get through this season of life. It is important for you to take care of your emotional needs as well as your physical needs. This is a time in your life when it is vital for you to express your feelings, ask and accept help, and be kind to yourself. You also need to get plenty of rest, eat healthy, and be alert for physical problems. You may also begin to set short term and long-term goals. You may want to try a new activity, such as joining a club or organization, take a new course, do some volunteer work, or evaluate your career goals. Whatever the case may be, find a purpose for the season in which you are now living. We at hospice will be glad to help in any way we can. Many activities are lined up for the upcoming month. It would be great to see you at some of them. Check your calendar and plan ahead.
October 11-Lunch Bunch at Barnesville Library Annex at Noon. Bring your own lunch and join us.
October 13-Lunch Bunch at Mr. Lee’s at Noon.
October 27-Breakfast Group at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9:00 AM.
It’s hard to believe that we are heading into fall. The days are getting shorter, and the evenings are cooler. Change is in the air. For many of you, change took place days, weeks or months ago. Life changes forever when you lose a loved one. It’s as if you are forced to join a club in which you want NO part! Just as we have no control over the calendar and the seasons, we also had no control over the death of our loved ones. The only thing we do have control over is our attitude and how we are going to live with the hand we have been dealt. I can only say to you that things will get easier. In the meanwhile, it is important to surround yourself with positive people, let the tears flow as needed, and remember to live you life as to honor your loved one. Seasons come and go, but memories will live on forever.
I am grateful that I have the opportunity to speak words into you life each month. I only hope that some of them bring you hope. Many of you I have never met, but I want you to know that you are precious to us here at Hospice, and we are here to help in any way that we can. Along with one-on-one time, we offer many group activities. I hope you will take advantage of any that sound interesting or helpful. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to call me at 740-432-7440.
September 8- “Lunch Bunch” at Mr. Lee’s in Cambridge at Noon
September 13- “Lunch Bunch” at Belmont County Library Annex at Noon. Bring your lunch
NEW!!! September 20- Understanding Grief Support Group at Hospice of Guernsey office (9711 East Pike Rd. Cambridge) from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. This is a 9 week group and books will need to be ordered for participants. If you are interested in attending call 740-432-7440.
September 22- Breakfast Support Group at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9:00 AM
The summer is quickly slipping away. Summer will soon turn into fall. And whether it has been a week, a month, or a year since the loss of your loved one, you will soon realize that life still goes on. As much as we feel that the whole world should stop when our loved one dies, (for ours certainly did) the seasons continue to come and go. And we are forced to adjust.
All the feelings that overwhelm you when a loved one dies deserves your attention. They are important openings to greater awareness: about the relationship you shared, your own needs, the meaning of life. And they take time!!! They are also the steps to your recovery, for there is no way out but through. Only by letting yourself experience grief can you move beyond it. Beyond-not to your old way of being or what once was “normal”, but beyond to fully integrating loss into your life, to richer understanding, renewed purpose, and deeper spirituality.
Grieving is painful and demanding. But healing does come. The deep pain will subside, and you will find yourself able to reflect on your loved one, how your life was and how it is now, and begin to think about how your life will be in the future. Personally, I have lost some very good friends. The void still exists when I can no longer share the excitement and pictures of my grandkids or just pick up the phone and talk about my day! A BIG sigh…but I can testify that the pain has lessened in intensity. It no longer consumes me, but I will never forget them. They, in many ways, helped shape me into how I respond today. They will always be present in my life.
You don’t have to go through this time alone. As part of our Hospice family, please take advantage of the services we offer. I am also available by phone or appointment.
August activities at Hospice:
Aug. 9-Lunch group to meet @ Barnesville Library Annex @ Noon. Bring your lunch.
Aug. 11-“Lunch Bunch” @ Mr. Lee’s @ Noon. Lunch on our own. It is a time of food and fellowship with others who have suffered a loss. For information, call 740-432-7440,
Aug. 25-Breakfast support group @ Patty’s Place in Belle Valley @ 9AM.
**A new Griefshare group will be starting Aug 18th.
The month begins with a BANG-a strong reminder of freedom. For many, the July 4th celebration means a picnic and fireworks. Sometimes the real meaning of the holiday is lost. Freedom can mean different things to different people. For some it does have the meaning of being able to live as we do in this country. For others, it may take on a new connotation. At this time in your life you may view your loved one as having been set free at last from their suffering. The hardships and illness that led to this time in your life are past, and now you must find a way to go on. Freeing yourself from living in the past is sometimes very difficult. Establishing a new norm for your life is essential and often requires energy you may not feel you possess. Others may be needed to help you along the way to healing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are also here to help in any way that we can. We offer various programs that I hope you will consider.
July’s upcoming events include:
July 12 Lunch Group at Barnesville Library Annex @ Noon-bring your sack lunch
July 14 Lunch Bunch at Mr. Lee’s in Cambridge @ Noon
July 23 Flamingo Memorial Run: sometimes doing something tangible is a special way to honor your loved one…You can do that with us in a one mile walk or a 5K. All monies will benefit patient care and bereavement services. (Check out our Facebook or Web Page)
July 28 Grief Support Breakfast at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley @ 9AM
Remember that I am also available for one on one time. I hope this season in life has you choosing to focus on the positives.
I just now looked ahead at the weather forecast for the week. It promises to be warm and sunny on the outside, but I know that all of you are not feeling its warmth on the inside. Because it may be stormy in your present circumstances, you may have to dig deep to find some hope of sunshine. But without hope, our spirit withers and dies! I am here to remind you that there is also hope in the stormy season of grief. The following sums it up for us:
The Hidden Power of the Heart
When the heart is enlivened again, it feels like the sun coming out after a week of rainy days. There is hope in the heart that chases the clouds away. Hope is a brighter heart frequency and as you begin to reconnect with your heart, hope is waiting to show you new possibilities and arrest the downward spiral of grief and loneliness. It becomes a matter of how soon you want the sun to shine. Listening to the still, small voice in your heart will make hope into a reality. ~Sara Paddison
I particularly like the line that says: “It becomes a matter of how soon you want the sun to shine.” We do have control over much of it. I pray that you will listen to the small voice in your heart as you move towards healing. And remember, we are here to help.
June 9: “Lunch Bunch” at Mr. Lee’s at Noon. Come share lunch with others who have suffered a loss, and make a new friend.
June 14: Support Group at Barnesville Library Annex at Noon. Pack a lunch. If the weather is warm, we will meet at the park.
June 20-22: Kids Kamp at Deerassic Park from 10AM – 2PM each day. Kids ages 6-12 eligible. Call Terri for details at 740-432-7440.
June 23: Breakfast Support Group at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley at 9AM.
I pray God’s blessing on you as you continue to “reconnect with your heart”.
Just as we have always heard that April showers bring May flowers, it is also true that we grow as we walk along the path of grief. Buried inside each of us is the potential to blossom into something beautiful after we have come through the rain. As I write this, I am taking time to look back over the last few years and reflect on the losses I have experienced. You see… I have lost my dad and my dearest friend since working here at hospice; BUT I have learned that I must leave the rains and storms of yesterday behind me and move into a new season where there can once again be flowers in bloom. My life must go on, and I have concluded that my loved ones would want that for me. It is my desire for you to learn the meaning of this as well.
May brings with it Memorial Day and a time of honoring those we love. For the average person, Memorial Day means a three-day weekend, and a time of rest and relaxation. But you probably do not feel like the average person at this time in your life, so I encourage you to do something that will honor the one you love in a different way than might be the norm. You may choose to plant a tree or shrub in your garden…one that will remind you of the one who is no longer with you. In time, it will be a comfort and a joy to behold. It is a living, breathing thing-something with life…just like you will remember your loved one as it ushers in precious memories of your times together. Plant it and water it with love! Enjoy it for years to come!
May 10: Barnesville Lunch Bunch @ 12 Noon at Barnesville Library Annex. Bring a sack lunch.
May 12: Lunch Bunch Support Group @ 12 Noon at Mr. Lee’s
May 26: Support Breakfast @ 9AM at Patty’s Place in Belle Valley
I hope to see you soon. And as always, I’m available by phone at 740-432-7440.