Brattleboro Area Hospice Volunteer and Friends Newsletter
Come experience the beauty of shared stories & song

Saturday March 11, 3:00-5:00 pm

Guilford Community Church, 
38 Church Road Guilford

Join Hallowell and Brattleboro Area Hospice for an afternoon of readings/songs and guided conversation as Hallowell singers read from Kathy Leo's new book, 
On the Breath of Song; The Practice of Bedside Singing for the Dying.  Readings will be interspersed with songs and the community will be invited to share conversation and stories.

What's Your Hope?
From the March/April Issue of SEASONS Bereavement Newsletter

Spring is coming, though it seems to take its time arriving here in Vermont.  People usually associate spring with renewal and hope, yet when someone close to you has died it can be hard to imagine ever feeling hopeful again.  Many people find that hope is near the bottom of the list of their emotional inventory, if it even makes the list. 

What is hope?  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives us a short definition: hope: desire with expectation of fulfillment. Wikipedia's definition is longer:  Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.  A poetic take on it comes in a famous line of an Emily Dickinson poem: Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. Maybe you have your own idea of what hope means to you.

It does no good when others tell you to be hopeful, or when you try to force yourself into feeling hope.  But most people who are grieving and feeling hopeless find that at some point in time as they move through grief, a glimmer of hope appears.  It might feel quite small and elusive, yet recognizable as hope.  Gradually, the glimmer becomes brighter and more tangible.

If hope is eluding you as you grieve, here are a couple of suggestions. James E. Miller, author of the small book "One you love has died" (which many of you have received from us), suggests that if you can't find your own hope, ask a trusted person to hold your hope for you, until you are ready to hold it for yourself.  This might seem like a strange concept, but consider it. 

Another idea is this:  right now, right where you're sitting, take a deep slow breath, close your eyes, and try to imagine what you would hope for if you could hope.  Stay with this question, with your eyes closed, trying to keep your breath slow and deep, until something, no matter how small or insignificant comes to you, that you hope for.  Then, for the next few days, return to your image of hope and see if it can become more real in your life.

Hope is one of those human experiences that gives meaning to our lives.  My wish for you is that you find your hope as you grieve.

Best regards,
Issues of SEASONS are available online here: SEASONS Bereavement Newsletter Archive

Or you can email us to join the SEASONS bimonthly mailing list:
Taking Steps Brattleboro

Your Questions Answered by Joanna Rueter, our Advance Care Planning Coordinator

Dear Joanna,
       You know how you say that everyone needs to have these discussions?  Well Dr. Zitter who agrees with you also uses the GO WISH game you like so much. (  I'm glad you are working on all this. Check out her article in the Sunday Times! Your news watcher.
Dear News Watcher,
        Thanks as always. Dr. Zitter has a new book published called EXTREME MEASURES: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life which I'm about to read. In the meantime, thanks for telling me about her opinion piece in the NYT. It's good and to the point. Click here to read:
Dear Joanna,
     Please communicate my thanks to Brattleboro Area Hospice for this Advance Care Planning Project. I knew I needed to get my directive done for about 5 years but it just wasn't happening. I'm so relieved and grateful! My facilitator couldn't have been more patient and helpful getting me through the task. I'm SO happy it's DONE- my family is too.   V.N.
Dear V.N. , 
      It's great to hear from you. Please spread the word. Lots of people are initially reluctant and yet I keep hearing how helpful it was to meet with a facilitator, talk through feelings and beliefs and put wishes down in writing. Please recommend that people call us! 

Please feel free to contact Joanna with your Advance Care Planning questions 
by phone 802-257-0775 x101  or by email:

Volunteers tell us that supporting their neighbors is incredibly fulfilling.  
There's still room left
in our upcoming trainings in Wilmington or Bellows Falls if you ACT NOW.  
Call Joyce at 257-0775 x105 or 
Email Hospice and learn about joining our training!
" What's Your Hope?"

 Grief Support Discussion 

Thursday March 16 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Click here for more info
Contact us for 
Grief Support

How we're different.... why we're important

Brattleboro Area Hospice is one of only 200 volunteer non-profit hospices left in the United States providing volunteer-staffed programs to dying and grieving community members. We were founded in 1979 on the belief that no one should die alone, and are dedicated to offering all services free of charge.


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Brattleboro Area Hospice   |

191 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301