After his high school sweetheart and wife of almost 56 years was afflicted
with Alzheimer’s disease, Joseph Bosch turned to
North Oaks Hospice for encouragement and guidance.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, his wife Mary, who passed away in April, was one
of 120 former Hospice patients recognized during the annual Memorial Service
that honors those who have died during the past year.
Hospice is a special kind of care given in the home that provides support
in a sensitive manner for patients with life-limiting illnesses. The
North Oaks Hospice team of professionals focuses on the emotional, physical and spiritual
needs of the patient and emphasizes the importance of the patient’s
quality of life.
The Memorial Service is a vital component of the North Oaks Hospice Bereavement
Program, which provides support to family members and caregivers for 1
year following the patient’s passing.
“It’s a sacred time—sad, but filled with promise,”
Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator Sister June Engelbrecht told the
group of about 80. “We’ve become part of your family and you’ve
become part of ours. It’s a privilege to accompany you and your
loved ones on the last part of your journey.”
Hospice assisted the Bosches for about a year during Mary’s illness,
and they truly consider the Hospice team members part of their extended family.
Bosch and his daughter, Gretchen Catalanatto, both of Robert, attended
the service at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center, to remember Mary
and show appreciation to the Hospice staff.
“When the door opened and Hospice came in, it was like sunshine,”
Bosch shared, adding that daily calls and visits buoyed him during the
most difficult times.
Evelyn Williams and her daughter, Patricia Morgan, agreed that the Hospice
team became “like family” during the illness of the Rev. Ivy
Williams, who passed away in September.
“They were always there for us–visiting, calling, coming to
the hospital,” Mrs. Williams commented, noting that they came from
Kentwood to attend the annual service, which surpassed their expectations
and helped her mourn her husband.
A highlight, she added, was the video presentation, “Invincible Summer,”
written and produced by Dr. James E. Miller.
Sr. June Engelbrecht, center, shares memories of the late Rev. Ivy Williams
with his wife Evelyn Williams, left, and daughter, Patricia Morgan.
The video compares the grieving process to seasons, beginning with shock,
then pain, comfort and eventually healing, Engelbrecht explained.
Derek Selders sang several songs, evoking memories of those who have passed
and providing comfort to those in attendance. Hospice team members called
the names of each late patient as loved ones were presented with framed
keepsake photos. Fellowship and refreshments followed the program.
The Hospice team includes, (front row, from left) Tiffany Giluso, Tyrus
Wells, Bertiel Wing, (back row, from left) Sr. June Engelbrecht, Gobel
Lynn, Trenice Coleman, Charles Bigner, Kirsten Constantino, Deborah Kirby
and Jason Widner. Not pictured is Patrice Pellettieri.
If you know someone coping with a terminal illness that may benefit from
Hospice care, call the
North Oaks Hospice office at (985) 230-7620 for a complimentary consultation with no obligation.