I was honored to be asked to speak at the memorial service for one of our hospice patients. It was an outdoor graveside service on a very warm day. When I arrived, three Navy officers also showed up. It tuned out that Bill was being buried with military honors. Taps was placed on the trumpet, followed by the flag which had draped the casket being expertly folded and presented to Bill’s son.
Then came my part, as I spoke to the family about the respect and love they showed. I used a few of my favorite quotes and blessings as I spoke of this 98 year old man who had lived a very good life.
The family members shared memories and stories, and quite a few tears were shed. It was a touching and loving service.
As I returned to my car to drive home, the emotions of the morning swirled in my mind. By the time I arrived home an hour or so later, I was exhausted. The feeling stayed with me, and I knew to practice self-care, as the day had taken its toll.
Being a part of the family’s experience through the memorial service and into bereavement is a part of my job, but it is so much more. It’s a privilege, walking with the family.