We have talked a number of times about what an incredible service hospice workers — and volunteers — provide. Folks who focus on hospice are, quite simply, very special people.
What often gets missed when we think about hospice, however, is that it can be extremely important for folks who are “left behind,” as well as for the patient. In our own case, at Support For Home, we talk about home care being family care. That is very much the case with hospice, as well.
Below is an article from VITAS Hospice, in the Sacramento, California area, that very clearly demonstrates this point. We are delighted to be able to present it to you:
Seeking Sewers and Crafters to Create “Forever Friends” To Ease Grieving Hearts
By Jan Newman, Volunteer Services Manager, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® of Sacramento Valley
Are you a crafty person? Do you like giving back to the community in which you live? Join the Memory Bear crafters of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care®.
VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® of the Sacramento Valley is looking for volunteers who love to sew to create Memory Bears for those mourning the death
of a loved one. Memory Bears are created by VITAS Volunteers from clothing provided by the family of a deceased patient. Using a patient’s favorite shirt,
sweater or other valued article of clothing, volunteers create a small, stuffed bear to provide family members and friends with a visible, happy memory of their loved one.
For children and adults who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a VITAS Memory Bear can offer a sense of security and a soft, comforting remembrance during a time of grieving. VITAS Innovative Hospice Care has brought this
loving program to the Sacramento Valley and the results have been meaningful for the bereaved and volunteer sewers alike.
Let me tell you a story about one of the Memory Bears: Ruth and Joe (names have been changed) met while picking up a penny from a sidewalk, fell in love and got married. Every time they found a penny on the sidewalk, Joe would place it in his right shoe and leave it there for a few days. When Joe died, Ruth was moving out the hospital bed and found one shiny penny under Joe’s bed. A sign from Joe? I think so!
Our VITAS Volunteer sewer took one of Joe’s special t-shirts and made a Memory Bear with a tiny pocket on the right foot to hold that shiny penny. Ruth now has a “forever friend” out of Joe’s special shirt with that special penny available any time she needs to be close to the love of her life.
Memory Bears are simple to make but have huge rewards all around. Would you like to join the team of creative Memory Bear crafters at VITAS? We’d love to have you. Contact me at 916.566.2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This creative and loving service exemplifies hospice at its best. We are delighted to have colleagues such as VITAS Innovative Hospice Care working with us in this industry.
Best wishes, Bert