Hospice Team Inspires Social Worker - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Hospice Team Inspires Social Worker

One of our Social Workers sent this note to her team, and we asked permission to share it with others. We found it inspiring and incredibly heartfelt.

I know you have been working very hard to meet patient needs and create supportive, caring environments for patients and caregivers.  I see the work you do and the benefit to the patient.  When Balloon-Release-for-Childrensomeone has the medication they need, the oxygen they need, the warm bath with a tender touch, and other physical needs met, I am provided the opportunity to do the work with them to address emotional issues.  I thank you for being so diligent with this.  

One of the things I got to do this week was to work with 8 children who are either losing their parent to death or who have already lost a parent.   The youngest of these was 7 and the oldest was 17.  Of course, each of these kids have their own experience with a loss and have developmentally different understandings of the loss.  This is challenging at times, but I get to be creative, and I love that.   The child writing on the balloon in the picture chose 6 different balloons and ALL of them were filled up with words for different people she had lost.  What I realize in these moments is that no one is alone in their grief, even if you are 9 years old … there are other kids out there who are experiencing grief as well. 

THE ONLY WAY I can do my job is because you do your job so well!  You take care of these moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, and children.  And you care for them so competently that I get to pick up this side of this and provide care as well. 

On this last day of Social Work Month, I want to tell you all THANK YOU for providing us, YOUR SOCIAL WORK TEAM, the opportunity to do the work we get to do. 

Sharla P., LSW
Medical Social Services
Heart ‘n Home Home Hospice & Palliative Care

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The Grocery Store Visit

folder_openGrief and Loss Support, Inspiring Stories
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“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” –Helen Keller

I was in a bad mood today. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and things just don’t go great. I forgot my lunch and had to go to the grocery store. I picked out a pre-made salad from the produce section and grabbed a juice. The self-checkout lines were busy so I went to the 12 items or less line. I was behind a few people, so I was reading magazine covers about Meghan Markel and General Hospital and Elon Musk, when I heard, “You work at Heart ‘n Home?”

Instantly I was brought back to the moment and my eyes met the cashier. She was a younger girl. I responded yes to her question and was expecting her to ask what I do or what hospice is. Instead, she mentioned her grandfather’s name. I instantly got chills. This man had only been on services a few months before he passed. I knew his wife well enough through the community and had heard she had been dealing with some health problems. It wasn’t the content of our exchange that impacted me so deeply, it was that in the moment we spent together, we touched her grief, and in talking about her loss, we were able to process it just a little bit more.

We talked about how funny her grandfather was. How proud of him she was. That he was a Veteran. Bereavement isn’t something that ever ends, but it does change. And the moments when we are able to share our grief with others can be felt as messages from our loved ones that we are not alone. I believe that her grandfather put me there in his granddaughter’s line so that we could share his memory. I remember him, and his wife, and his granddaughter, and I am enriched by their love. How could anyone stay in a bad mood after that?

Joelle Brown
La Pine & Bend Volunteer Coordinator
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

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