Celebrating Life

Updated on September 10, 2013

Feb13_Customer Service_FrancoInsana copyBy Franco Insana

“Shall claim of death cause us to grieve, and make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive – the rose still grows beyond the wall.”
– The Rose Beyond the Wall, A.L. Frink

One of the uplifting aspects about hospice and end-of-life care is the fact that we celebrate our patients’ lives. Hospice provides enhanced quality of life, dignity and respect. And instead of mourning a patient’s death, the emphasis is on celebrating his or her life! Family Hospice and Palliative Care is proud to fulfill that mission.

About 20 family members gathered with Family Hospice staff at The Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon on the afternoon of July 25. The sun was shining, the sky was blue – and although a reverent silence was prevalent, it was not due to mourning. Celebrating lives was the order of the day. Celebrating the lives of those who meant so much to the families who came together.

Families and staff gathered at our Celebration of Life Wall for our latest unveiling ceremony. Fourteen new names were recently engraved on the Wall, forever celebrating the memories of 14 special people.

Family Hospice conducted a brief ceremony at the unveiling. The poem “The Rose Beyond the Wall” was read. Each family received a white rose, and then was invited to attend a reception at The Center for Compassionate Care.

While proceeds from each name added to the Wall benefit the Family Hospice Future Fund, the benefit was about far more than the donations raised. Our staff benefited from the opportunity to talk with the families who came to the Wall that day.

Families find their loved ones’ names on the Celebration of Life Wall at The Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon.
Families find their loved ones’ names on the Celebration of Life Wall at The Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon.

To a person, each spoke of the compassionate care their loved one received. Each spoke of the increased quality of life that was provided.

Phrases like “Your care made such a difference,” and “We are so grateful for what your staff did” were heard throughout the room.

Some family members even expressed to us that they are considering volunteering with Family Hospice, because they feel as if they “want to give back.”

While there were some tears during the reception, there were plenty of smiles to go around. As family members talked with Family Hospice staff, they recalled cherished memories of their loved ones and celebrated the things that made them so special.

Time flew by as the conversations continued. And while our guests thanked us for a memorable event, it is all of us who are grateful. Not only did we have the privilege of caring for such special people, we now have the opportunity to help them live on through the Celebration of Life Wall and the fellowship we share with their families.

On another note, beginning with our next column, you will hear from our new President and CEO, Barbara Ivanko. Barbara comes to Family Hospice from Florida and brings more than a dozen years experience in end-of-life care management. Barbara is passionate about Family Hospice’s mission of delivering quality, compassionate care.
She is excited not only to become a member of the Pittsburgh health care environment, but to share the amazing stories of our patients and staff at Family Hospice and Palliative Care.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have connected with you over the past several months.

Franco Insana is the full-time Chief Financial Officer, and has been the Interim CEO, of Family Hospice and Palliative Care. He has more than 25 years experience in business and accounting, particularly in the health care and non-profit environments. He may be reached at [email protected] or (412) 572-8800. Family Hospice and Palliative Care serves nine counties in Western Pennsylvania. More information at www.FamilyHospice.com and www.facebook.com/FamilyHospicePA.

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