Comfort for the Grieving Heart

26 May
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St. Luke’s Hospice
Bereavement Team:
Mindy Watson, MSW
Bereavement Coordinator and
(484) 526-2314
Suzann Ditzel, MSW
Bereavement Coordinator and
(484) 526-2514
Nan Sell-Parry, LCSW
Family Services Manager
Rev. Anne G. Huey
Spiritual Services Manager
Dawn Cavanaugh
Bereavement Assistant
(484) 526-2499
If you would like to be added
to or removed from our mail-
ing list, or if you would pre-
fer to receive an electronic
copy, please contact Dawn at
January 2017
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Comfort for the Grieving Heart
Provided by St. Luke’s Hospice Bereavement Program
Old year has gone away with gift and candle,
Old year has gone away with thought and song.
Old year has given light and dark and season,
Old year has been too short and been too long.
Old year has given joy and disappointment,
Old year has given grief and strength to cope.
Old year was memory and was forgetting-
Another year is come: Give it your hope.
Author unknown. PATHways Center for Grief & Loss, Lancaster, PA
Here we are, yet again, in the midst of another cold and dreary time of year, when we are
left reeling from the bustle of the holiday season and challenged to face the remainder of
the winter months. The New Year brings about a time of change and rebirth during a sea-
son where we so often tend to feel withdrawn and isolated, merely by shorter days and
colder nights and the desire to hibernate and keep insulated. This conflictual time of the
year is often represented in how we behave and think: we make resolutions and the break
them, we look ahead while still having a finger on the pulse of our past, we make plans yet
anticipate them with a sense of dread and anxiety. On the surface, the New Year seems to
be a time for excitement and opportunity, yet right below that surface, we acknowledge
that this time of year brings about stillness and quiet that can at times be difficult to man-
When we are grieving, the New Year also brings about a newness to our grief; as we antic-
ipate stepping into 2017 without our loved one, we may once again feel a great sense of
sorrow. We are entering a New Year without our loved one, and for many of you reading
this, it may be the first “new year” experienced through the lens of your loss. You may
find yourself focusing on what you have lost and having difficulty looking into the future
and what it may bring. You may be experiencing a renewed sense of loneliness, or sad-
ness, or despair. And, while these feelings are normal as we work through our grief, may I
suggest we add one more feeling to that list?
As we prepare ourselves for a new calendar year, full of new holidays, new experiences,
and new memories to be made, there is a process not only of looking back, but also of
looking ahead… reminding ourselves who and what is of value to us. While much has
been lost and changed, there is still much that remains. As we look ahead to the New
Year, may we treat ourselves with gentleness as we grieve what has been lost and prepare
ourselves for what is to come. As we navigate the next few months of cold and darkness,
may we look for signs of spring, holding steadfast to the knowledge that spring will in fact
If you are one of the many who are experiencing renewed feelings of grief at this time of
year, consider adding hope to the list of feelings that you may be revisiting. Hope lives in
all of us; we may just need to use our time wisely in these cold winter months to nurture it
and allow it to take root in our hearts.

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News & Events
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Grief and Loss Support Group
Our next round of our 6 week Grief and Loss Support
Group is scheduled for February 2017. This group is
for adults grieving the loss of someone significant in
their lives and provides an opportunity to come to-
gether with others who have experienced the loss of a
loved one. The group guides participants in under-
standing the uniqueness of their grief. Please note that
this is not a therapeutic group; this group provides
support, resources and education on the healing pro-
cess. The group will meet on Wednesdays from
February 22, 2017 through March 29, 2017 from
3:30-5:30 pm at St. Luke’s Priscilla Payne Hurd Edu-
cation Center, St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus, 801 Os-
trum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (building is located
in front of Priscilla Payne Hurd annex of the hospital).
Registration for this group is required:
call (484) 526-2514 or email
Newly Bereaved Workshop
This one-time workshop is for those who have a lost a
loved one within the past 1-3 months and will provide
education on the first few weeks and months of grief
following a death. We will cover understanding com-
mon grief reactions, coping strategies, self-care
throughout the grief process and beyond, and the
uniqueness of your grief experience. These workshops
will be offered on a bi-monthly basis. We will be meet
on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00
pm We will meet at the Pricilla Payne Hurd Education
Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem Campus, 801
Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (building is lo-
cated in front of Priscilla Payne Hurd annex of the
hospital). Registration is required: call (484)526-
2514 or email
*Please note changes in our Drop-In Group*
Our Drop-In groups are designed to offer continued
support to bereaved individuals who have already at-
tended grief and loss programs through St. Luke’s
Hospice. Drop-In groups afford participants the
chance to continue with supportive services. This
group is facilitated, but directed by group members in
terms of content and discussion. We currently offer 4
Drop-In Support Groups:
Easton: First Monday of every month from 4-5 pm
at St. Luke’s Hospital-Anderson Campus, Medical Of-
fice Building (MOB), 1700 St. Luke’s Blvd, Easton, PA
18045 in Conference Room A.
Bethlehem: Second Monday of every month from
4:00-5:00 pm at St. Luke’s Pricilla Payne Hurd Educa-
tion Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem Campus,
801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015 in Room
Quakertown: Second Monday of every month
from 6:30-7:30 pm at St. Luke’s Hospital-Quakertown
Campus, 1021 Park Avenue, Quakertown, PA 18951
in Taylor B Conference room.
Lehighton: Third Monday of every month from
3:00 – 4:00 pm at Dinkey Memorial Church, 1742
Dinkey Road, Lehighton, PA 18212.
Open /Drop-in Support Groups
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to
happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make
your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your
beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for
grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what
you can to make grace happen…
yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”
Bradley Whitford

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News and Events
Volunteer Opportunities Available
To all of our friends in the Lehighton area, we hope you have noticed that we are working
hard to grow our programming in the northern part of our service area. In addition to our
monthly drop-in group (every 3rd Monday of the month), we are also offering workshops
and groups on a rotating basis. We hope that if you have bereavement needs, you will join us.
Our next drop-in group will be January 16, 2017 and our next round of our 6 week Grief and
Loss support group is scheduled to start March 21, 2017. To register, please contact Suzann
at (484) 526-2514 or
Lehighton News :
Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. – Samuel Smiles
We need you! Specially trained volunteers are
an integral part of the St. Luke’s Hospice team,
and we are always looking for individuals who
are wanting to serve as a welcome friend to our
patients and their family members. Volunteers
share their time and talents in many ways; they
visit with patients in their homes or at St.
Luke’s inpatient Hospice House, and they also
assist with a variety of administrative duties
and help at special events. If you have thought
about volunteering, please consider donating
your time and talents to St. Luke’s Hospice!
For more details, please contact Juana
Van Steenvoort, Volunteer Coordinator at
(484) 526-7124, or visit
(Due to the sensitive nature hospice volunteering re-
quires, we ask that applicants who have experienced the
loss of a loved one wait until they have completed a be-
reavement period of at least one year before applying to
become a hospice volunteer).
New Reading
From Grief to
Growth: 5 Essential
Elements of Action
by Paula Stephens
In this new release, the
author leads the reader
through five game
changing elements that
provide a road map to a
joyful life after loss. The author writes how
she went from hiding in the shadow of her
son’s death to living in the sunshine of his
life. With humor and wit, she shares the sto-
ries of the death of her father, her middle
son’s drug rehab, and her own struggles to
heal. Her practical tips and examples of
how others have healed will light the way
for anyone wanting to find the light after
the loss of a loved one.

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Additional Places to Find Support and Share Your Story
This is a listing of free bereavement resources in the area. If you have a need for something and don’t see it on
this list, please call the Bereavement Office at (484) 526-2499 for referrals to other services.
Cancer Support Community of Lehigh Valley is a local non-profit organization providing emotional and social
support to family members and caregivers. They offer support groups, educational workshops and mind/body
classes in their Allentown, PA office. Programs are free, but registration is required. Call 610-861-7555 or email to register or for more information.
The Compassionate Friends offers ongoing support groups for parents, grandparents, and adult siblings griev-
ing the loss of a child, grandchild, or sibling.
TCF of Lehigh Valley meets at Sacred Heart Hospital, 2nd floor, 421 Chew Street in Allentown. The
group meets the 2nd Monday each month at 7pm. For more information, call 610-837-7924.
TCF of Quakertown meets at St. Luke’s Hospital, ground floor, 1021 Park Ave in Quakertown in Taylor
Conference Rooms A&B. This group is held the 2nd Tuesday each month from 7:30 – 9pm. For more in-
formation, call 215-536-0173.
TCF of Easton meets the 2nd Thursday each month from 7-9pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,
2115 Washington Blvd. in Easton. For more information call 610-866-5468.
Gentle Yoga for Grief, Stress, and Life Transitions offered by Wendy Littner Thomson, M.Ed., LPC, RYT.
First session offered for free to caregivers whose loved one recently received hospice services from St Luke’s Hos-
pice. For location, times, or more information, please call 610-730-1992
Free Spirits is a group of more than 2 dozen older widows who go out to lunch once a month to keep active and
offer support to each other–and to newer widows. Most are members of Church of the Manger UCC, Bethle-
hem. Call 610-866-8223 for more information.
Soaring Spirits Regional Group Lehigh Valley social gatherings for widowed individuals to provide opportuni-
ties to connect with others in a positive, caring, and supportive environment. For more information, contact Sonja
Handwerk at 610-297-0057 or
HALOS – CLC is for parents, grandparents and adult siblings who have experienced the loss of a child or sibling
to suicide. The group meets every 4th Thursday from 6:30-8:30 pm at Hughes Library in Stroudsburg, PA. Regis-
ter with Alice Keyes at (570) 236-1168
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center offers an Open Group on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00
pm. Registration is required, contact Deb at (610) 347-9988 or The Center is
located at 522 W. Maple St., Allentown, PA 18101. There is no charge for the group.
GriefShare Groups are a faith-based approach to grief and loss. GriefShare groups are provided at several loca-
tions in the Lehigh Valley. To find a location near you, please visit
St. Francis Retreat House holds monthly grief support groups on the first and third Tuesday of the month from
9:30-11:00 am. Located at 3918 Chipman Avenue, Easton PA. Please call 610-515-9028 for more information.
GRASP – For families who have experienced a death due to substance use. Group meets every 3rd Monday of
the month from 7-8:30 pm at 1st Presbyterian Church in Allentown, Room 118. Please register with Nancy Howe
(484) 788-9440
Stepping Stones for Adolescents is a group for teens ages 11-16 that meets at Lehigh Valley Hospice for teen
peer support. Call (610)969-0330 for more information.
VNA/Hospice of Monroe County offers a support group the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month at noon. Call
570-421-5390 for more information.
Grand View Hospital Hospice offers many groups and services that change seasonally. Please call 215-453-4210
for more information.
Doylestown Hospital Hospice offers a variety of support groups, including a widow/widower group, a young
survivors group, and an adult loss group. Visit or call 215-345-2838.
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