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Grief and Healing: Setting Your Intentions for the New Year

After the death of a loved one, we may fervently hope that we will feel better and perhaps "more normal" as a new year begins. Will our grief be a continuation of last year, or will this year be a little better? If we want things to be different, it will help to set intentions mindfully.

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January Bereavement Calendar – Setting Intentions for the New Year

All of us grieve in our own way, in our own time. Hospice Austin can help guide you through the complicated and sometimes overwhelming grieving process. You do not have to grieve alone. Here is a list of our in-person and online bereavement support offerings for January.

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On Top of the Mountain

It’s not unusual for families to go into a tailspin during the agonizing terminal illness of a child. However, Mary Rodriguez and her husband, Ricardo Perez, traversed that difficult journey with incredible courage and grace.

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A Rookie Volunteer

My first patient, Mrs. A, was a delightful woman with such an easy presence about her. I approached my first visit feeling as prepared as I could be and just a bit fearful that I might not do or say the right thing. In our training, staff and long-time volunteers had shared with us that even they leave patients' homes thinking about what they did or said that they wish they hadn't. So I knew that I didn't have to be perfect. I just needed to BE - to be present for Mrs. A.

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There is a reason I got the opportunity to be part of Hospice Austin. Hospice kept coming up in my life.

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Help for the Holidays

The holidays can be extremely painful for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Hospice Austin has developed many offerings to help loved ones get through the holidays this season. They are all free and open to anyone in our community.

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Hospice Austin Chaplains – Holding a Sacred Space

The end of a person’s life can so easily be consumed by chaos – pain, fear, grief, denial. Hospice Austin chaplains meet patients where they are, and, in the process of listening, bring comfort, peace, and invite patients to reflect on and define the meaning of their lives.

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Pet Therapy

Several years ago, a patient was readmitted to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House late on a Friday afternoon. When he had been there before, he’d met Hospice Austin volunteer Rusty and her therapy dog, Faraday, a loving one-eyed white lab. As soon as this patient was wheeled into Christopher House on a gurney – before he even got to his room – he was asking for Faraday: “Where’s the dog? I need to see the dog.” Hospice Austin’s volunteer coordinator ran to call Rusty who immediately said, “I’m on my way.” She and Faraday drove across town and the patient was able to spend time with Faraday. He died two hours later.

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Camp Erin Central Texas

Rachel* lost her brother in an accident. Sandra lost her stepfather to suicide. Marty’s mom died of cancer and a few weeks later, his father died from complications of a heart attack. These are just some of the stories of the kids who attended Camp Erin Central Texas.

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Honoring Madelyn’s Wish

In February 2017, 16-year-old Madelyn Shoales was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by six weeks of radiation. One year later, when it became apparent that Madelyn would not survive her courageous battle, her last wish was to die at home. Her parents, Suzannah and Jason Shoales, and her Hospice Austin pediatric care team were determined to do everything they could to honor her wish. Bethany Miller was Madelyn’s RN case manager.

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