The Unbroken Bond

26 May
Page 1
May 2015
St. Luke’s Hospice
Bereavement Team
Christine Holmfelt,
Bereavement Coordinator
and Counselor
(610) 997-7132
Nan Sell-Parry, LCSW
Family Services Manager
Rev. Anne G. Huey
Spiritual Services Manager
Dawn Cavanaugh
Bereavement Assistant
If you would like to be
added to or removed from
our mailing list, or if you
would prefer to receive an
electronic copy, please
contact Dawn at
(610) 997-7125.
The Unbroken Bond
“Just because your beloved has died, it doesn’t mean that your relationship has died too.
When a star dies in the universe, its light continues to penetrate the darkness for millions of
years. Our loved ones are like stars in the heavens now, and although their lives have ended
on this earth, their lights continue to shine. Their influence endures.”
From Ashley Davis Bush’s Transcending Loss
When faced with the loss of a loved one, we might be tempted to try and
hold on with both hands. The thought of losing him or her is absolutely unbearable
and early on, we want (or need) to stay as connected as possible. We find comfort
in the photos that surround us and the possessions that remain behind, as we
fumble through our day-to-day lives still in shock and disbelief.
As the clouds begin to lift and we open to the raw emotions that accompany
our loss, we search for ways to express our love and our desire to remember this
significant relationship that shaped and formed our lives. We meet each day as best
we can, hoping that in time, the pain will lesson and we can remember them
without the flood of tears and searing ache that accompanies most of our memories.
We understand that while our loved one is physically gone, our love
endures. One hand holds tightly to our memories while the other opens to connect
with those around us. Life moves us along and we begin to feel the presence of our
loved one in our own thoughts, actions, and words. We understand how to do both
because our bond is not broken by death, only changed in form.
On the following pages, you will find invitations and opportunities to
continue to explore your relationship with your loved one. Whether experienced
with others in a group or a workshop or in private moments of reflection, I
encourage you to seek ways to remember and reaffirm your unbroken bond with
your loved one.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Grief & Loss Support Group
May 15 – June 19, 2015 from 1 – 2:30 pm (Fridays in Bethlehem)
Chronicling Memory: A Memoir Workshop
May 21 – June 18, 2015 from 6:30 – 8pm (Thursdays in Bethlehem)
Annual Charity Bike Ride
June 6, 2015

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Grief and Loss Support Group
This is a 6 week support group for adults grieving the loss of someone significant in their lives. Our support
group provides an opportunity to come together with others who have experienced the loss of a loved one to
share stories, offer and receive support, and find hope and healing. A group can offer both peer support and
education and information about the grief journey. It is important that participants are able to attend all 6
weeks. Registration for the group is required. There are no drop-ins permitted. Please note that the group
is subject to be canceled if sufficient registration is not reached. Space is limited. Please call for more
Lehigh Valley Area
May 15th – June 19th, 2015 from 1 – 2:30pm.
St. Luke’s Bethlehem Education Center (Room 103), 801 Ostrum St., Bethlehem, PA.
Call Christine Holmfelt at (610) 997-7132 to register for this group.
“In this universe
nothing is ever wholly lost.
That which is excellent
remains forever a part of this universe.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Questions for Reflection:
What is the most important
thing you learned from
your loved one?
How does he/she continue
to inspire you?

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In a strange, paradoxical way, the dead do seem to accompany us, like a shadow only slightly removed
from our own being. I don’t think this happens in any sustained fashion right away. Perhaps we have to wait a
while, know the reality of separation, and give ourselves time for the components of our lives to sift down into
their new patterns before we can begin to see the relationship with the one who had died is not over. It is
different, but it is not over. It is not what we would wish, but it has its own reality and comfort.
Perhaps our sense of the loved one comes unbidden; perhaps we invoke it by our thoughts. It comes to
us in different ways – a sense of the person’s presence, a warmth of love in the room. A dream that speaks
directly to our need.
Long ago, when my grief was still quite new, I wondered aloud to my son about the origin and
meaning of one of those experiences – Was it real? Could I trust it? And he said, “Why don’t you just accept it
as a gift?”
I will listen. I will welcome as gifts the memory and presence of love.
Healing After Loss:
Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief
Martha Whitmore Hickman
Meditation for May 12
“Her love is everywhere. It follows me as I go about the house, meets me in the garden, sends
swans into my dreams. In a strange, underwater or above earth way I am very nearly happy.
~Sylvia Townsend Warner
Letter to Your Loved One
It seems there is never enough time to say all of the things
in our minds and hearts before our loved one is gone.
Writing letters can be a way to express those unspoken
words as well as reopening the connections that are deeply
As you begin your letter with “Dear …,” your
thoughts and feelings might easily pour out. If you are
having trouble getting started, you might consider the
following guides to help you:
What I have always wanted to tell you is…
My most treasured memory of you is…
What you never understood was…
What I want you to know about me is …
What I now realize is …
The one question I have wanted to ask is …
I want to keep you in my life by…
Letter writing is a powerful way to reconnect, but can be
even more important on significant occasions when the loss
is felt more intensely, such as on anniversaries, birthdays,
or holidays.
from “When Great
Trees Fall”
Maya Angelou
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

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Resources for Children and Teens
Memory Boxes
Creating a memory box can be a special way to honor a loved one. It provides a safe space to remember
and reconnect while exploring the range of feelings that accompany grief. (Depending on the age of the child,
he or she may require adult supervision for this project. Adults may want to create their own boxes.)
First, find an empty box with a lid (maybe a shoe box or a craft box). Consider the items you want to
place inside to decide on the size of the box. Then you can decorate the outside with photos, fabric, ribbons,
stickers, tissue paper, or paint. Choose colors or images that are special to you and remind you of your loved
Once the outside of the box is decorated, pick out objects that will be kept inside. You could include
photos, letters, toys, drawings, ticket stubs, or special possessions. Anything that brings back memories of
your loved one can be placed in your box.
When you find yourself missing your loved one, you can visit your memory box.
Camp Cocoon
A bereavement day camp for children ages 5 -16
Saturday, May 30th (register by May 16th)
9am – 3pm
Nazareth, PA
To request more information or to register,
contact Jason Boyko at (610) 969-0330
or email
Memory Books
Enid Samuel-Traisman, MSW, has created memory books for
children ages 8 – 12 (Remember: A Child Remembers) and for teenagers
(Fire in My Heart, Ice In My Veins). Each journal provides space for
letters, stories, pictures, and drawings along with guidelines for
The following are prompts in Remember in the section “Honoring
Your Life”:
When I am involved in these activities, I feel closer to you:
When I see these things, I am reminded of you:
This is what I did special in your memory:
This is why it was meaningful:
I have kept some of your personal things. This is what I have kept
and why they are special to me:
Here is a poem or short story about you/us:
This is how I want to remember you:
In addition to helping children and teens explore their grief, memory
books provide an opportunity to reinforce and reflect on their enduring
bond with their loved ones and the legacies that remain.

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Bereavement Services in the Community
This is a listing of additional free bereavement resources in the area. If you have a need for something and
don’t see it on this list, please call Christine at (610) 997-7132 for referrals to other services.
GriefShare Groups are a faith-based, evangelical approach to grief and loss. GriefShare groups are provided
at various locations around the Lehigh Valley. To find a location near you, please visit
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,
Bethlehem. Call 610-866-8223 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.
Lehigh Valley Health Network offers grief support
services in the form of counseling, support groups, and
workshops for adults and children, as well as a lunch club
for women. For more information, please call 610-969-
Grand View Hospital Hospice offers many groups and
services that change seasonally. Please call 215-453-4210
for more information.
Gentle Yoga for Grief, Stress, and Life Transitions
and Grief Education and Counseling Groups offered
by Wendy Littner Thomson M.Ed., LPC, RYT. For
locations, times, or more information please call 610-730-
1992 or visit
The Compassionate Friends offers ongoing support
groups for parents, grandparents, and adult siblings
grieving the loss of a child, grandchild, or sibling. To
find a local chapter, visit the organization’s website at and click on “Chapter
Family Answers holds a Survivors of Suicide support group at 402 North Fulton Street in Allentown, PA.
This group is held the first and third Monday each month from 7-8pm. Call 610-435-9651 for more info.
Cancer Support Community of Lehigh Valley with St. Luke’s offers the Hope and Healing Series. Call
610-861-7555 or email for more information.
Thank you!
We’d like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to all of you who have made donations from
your heart as a way of expressing your appreciation for our hospice bereavement services. It is an
honor to companion you on your grief and life transition journeys. Your gifts ensure that this service
continues to evolve in meaningful directions to meet the ongoing and growing needs of our families
and our community. Many of you ask for a telephone number for donation information.
You may contact the Development Office at 484-526-3067.
Again, heartfelt thanks.
Become Part of a Dedicated Team
St. Luke’s Hospice is actively seeking
volunteers to serve and support hospice patients
and families within the Lehigh Valley and
Carbon county areas.
Specially trained volunteers are an integral part
of the St. Luke’s Hospice team.
Volunteers serve as a welcome friend to the
family. They share their time and talents in
many ways. Volunteers can visit with patients
in their homes or in St. Luke’s inpatient Hospice
House. They can also assist with administrative
office duties and help at special events.
For more information or
to join our next volunteer training session,
please call 610-997-7121.
*Applicants who have recently experienced the loss of
a family member are asked to wait until they have
completed a bereavement period of at least one year
before applying to become a hospice volunteer.

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