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
December 2016
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Comfort for the Grieving Heart
Provided by St. Luke’s Hospice Bereavement Program
“Each moment is a miracle encompassing everything: the joy and sorrow,
the failure and success, the disappointment and happiness,
the celebration and grief”
Kazuaki Tanahashi
The 2012 Grammy awards were memorable for many reasons, but perhaps most notably
for the death of Whitney Houston just one day before the show was set to air. With no
time to alter the show, the Grammys aired and delicately balanced our collective grief as
well as our celebration. We mourned Whitney while Jennifer Hudson sang “I Will Always
Love You” in tribute. Then we turned our attention to Adele, who won all 6 of her nomi-
nations, tying for the most wins by a female artist in one night, and triumphantly returned
to the stage after vocal chord surgery. Then we shifted our focus back to another artist’s
death, Amy Winehouse, as her father posthumously accepted a Grammy on her behalf.
Then Bruno Mars performed and we again found our spirits lightened. Bruce Springsteen
opened the show, and Paul McCartney closed the show. In between, Glen Campbell, who
had announced the previous year that he was battling Alzheimer’s disease, sang
“Rhinestone Cowboy” and we were again reminded of the fragility of life.
The 2012 Grammys can be a good guide in our own grieving; what we learn is that it is
possible to sit with both grief and celebration together. This is an especially fitting re-
minder as we enter the holiday season, when we are tasked with experiencing our grief in
the midst of celebratory occasions. We are faced with the question of what to do when
grief meets celebration. Perhaps the answer lies not in preparing or planning as we may be
inclined to do, perhaps the overriding idea is one of learning to strike a balance. Part of
what grief teaches us is that we often experience times where we are doing fine…trucking
along in life and moving forward. Never forgetting but also remembering to live. Then
come the times where we are hit hard…we get sad, feel hopeless, and are in pain. During
the year, we experience these things in a natural course that is distinct to us as individuals.
But, during the condensed period between Thanksgiving and the New Year, a time filled
with meaning and memories, we can experience grief in a heightened way, as it sits hand in
hand with celebration.
This year, as you enter into the holiday season, try and allow yourself to experience your
emotions in a way that honors your grief, as well as the festivity and tradition that sur-
rounds the season. When thinking of the holidays, consider ways in which carrying on tra-
ditions may help in this process, and also consider ways in which introducing new tradi-
tions may also support your grieving. Find your support people and have them ready in
case you need respite and care, but also consider building in time to be alone to reflect.
Share memories and talk of your loved one, but also make plans and look to the future.
There is a sweet spot where grief and celebration can live with each other, and allowing
yourself the freedom to simply feel and be in the moment may lead you to finding a bal-
ance. You, like the producers of the Grammy’s, can map out a course that is respectful to
both loss and life.
Find your Adele or Bruno Mars. Embrace your Whitney and Amy. They can coexist and
to honor them both is to honor your loved one.

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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
“The deeper that sorrow carves
into your being,
the more joy you can contain.”
Khalil Gibran

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News and Events
Managing Grief at the Holidays
1. Remember that just as there is no right or wrong
way to grieve, there is no right or wrong way to cel-
ebrate a holiday
2. Lean into feelings of grief instead of trying to avoid
them. You aren’t trying to avoid grieving, you are
trying to avoid pain. Grief is the way through the
pain, so address your feelings as they arise
3. Try holidays in a new way. Grief has a funny way of
helping us evaluate what parts of the holidays we
want to keep, what we want to change and what we
want to eliminate altogether.
4. Go in with a game plan. Make plans with family,
friends or to be on your own, but be sure to build in
a Plan B to your plans. Even if you think now that
you want to spend the day alone, have a Plan B in
place to meet up with friends in case being alone
becomes overwhelming.
5. Externalize your loss: say a prayer, light a candle,
make an ornament, donate money in their name,
share funny stories.
6. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t do more than you
want and don’t do anything that does not serve your
Adapted from
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 2017. We will make future announcements in
the newsletter, so please be on the look out for information!
Lehighton News :
What will I do this holiday season?
Weep for you, Miss you.
Be kind to a stranger because of our love.
Invoke your name so others will honor you.
Stand in awe at the beauty of all you are.
Meditate on your life and death.
Carry you in my heart wherever I journey.
Show mercy to children and animals.
Ask for your forgiveness, and your presence.
Unfold your love into the world.
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

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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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