No Words Left Unsaid

May 2024

Solange, unofficially named our Hospice “Social Butterfly,” has been calling Room 3 in our Windsor Residence “home” for the last few weeks. “As soon as I arrived here, I knew it was the right place for me,” she says. “The staff is just incredible – and I make sure to tell them all the time!”

Solange comes from a large family, and family clearly means the world to her. As the youngest of eleven, she has a very special connection to all of them. She is surrounded in her Hospice suite with rows of photos of her family, and her husband, who she lost to cancer 13 years ago.

I have accepted what’s happening to me, and now, as a I look forward, it is most important that my six grandchildren will always know that they were loved. They are the best thing in my life, and each of them has a special place in my heart!

Our team set out to support Solange, and work with her to share her love with her grandchildren. As part of the Hospice Legacy Project, members of our team collaborate with patients and their loved ones to design and customize special items, which become heartfelt memorials to the person, and mementos for their loved ones to treasure forever. These items can be as small as a ceramic thumbprint heart, or handprint mugs, or personalized “Open When” letters. Regardless of the item, the true impact of these creations is often not fully realized until after a loved one passes.

For each legacy piece, we sit down with the patient and their loved ones, and design a project that not only reflects their own individual story, but also the patient’s abilities to participate,” says Hospice Social Worker, Taylor Wright.

With the support of Taylor, Solange has created Legacy projects for all of her loved ones including “Open When” Letters. These letters typically include a note created in advance for a specific moment or event in a loved one’s life, for example; “Open When…. you’re having a bad day,” or “Open When…you need a good laugh,” or “Open When…you finish taking your final exams,” or even “Open When I’m Gone.”

I’ve written ‘Open When’ letters for each of my grandchildren, which they’ll get when I’m gone, along with their own personal Hospice Burden Bear. So, whenever they’re sad, or missing me, they can cuddle that bear and know that it came from me. There will be no words left unsaid,” Solange says with a smile.

Solange has made peace within herself for her journey and is making the best of the rest of her life. She’s grateful to be able to share that peace with her family and loved ones going forward. Our Hospice has been able to support her on that journey, and provide the specialized Memorable Care to deliver exactly what she needs to remain present in her loved one’s lives, now and always.

A heart full of family, love, and stories shared – that is The Hospice Way!