Heartland Hospice Serving Greater Philadelphia's Annual Memorial Service
On Saturday, October 20, family members of deceased hospice patients joined together at Heartland Hospice serving Greater Philadelphia to remember, grieve and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. They were welcomed to the annual memorial service by Samantha Johns, Bereavement Coordinator, along with the hospice care team.
Poetry, scripture and music was shared in the sun-filled lobby. Through the window, members could see trees just beginning to show their autumn colors. As a part of the event, there was a “tree” inside on which the bereaved could hang fabric leaves with the written the names of their deceased loved ones. Memorial stones engraved with “In Loving Memory” and the patients’ names were given to families to keep close to their hearts. Candles were lit during the service to light a way forward in this journey.
Music and songs were provided by Laura Roman, Music Therapist, during the service. When she sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Richard Rogers from the Broadway Musical Carousel, everyone joined in. “This song tells us that you have hope in your heart, no matter how bad the storm gets, you won’t be alone. At Heartland, we try and be that hope for the patients and their families,” said Samantha.
“We want our patients’ families to come back to Heartland as a safe space and be able to talk about their feelings. A big part of hospice is making sure that the bereaved are supported and comforted. Coming together for a memorial is part of that,” Samantha said.