Holiday Greetings! As the holiday season draws near, our thoughts turn to family and friends, plans and celebrations, and home. The season is underscored with gratitude, as we consider all that matters most to us. At Clarehouse, we remember you, with thanksgiving, for enabling us to extend loving compassion to hurting people in need; in need of a kind touch, blessed rest, and a warm, safe home.
These simple gifts – kindness, a sense of family, a comfortable spot to rest a weary head – make a world of difference to dying individuals and grieving families. They walk this journey, not alone, but surrounded by a community of caring and your support makes this possible. Let me share with you the impact of this care through the story of Laurette and her family.
Laurette’s journey ran the gamut of the grief process. Her time at Clarehouse began with full-out efforts to prolong her life, defy her prognosis and walk out our doors to return to her life at home. Herbs, supplements, mysterious concoctions from the kitchen, meditation, and sheer determination were her tools in those first few weeks. Laurette was a storyteller and a published author. Sharing her memories at the dinner table, recalling the events of her unique childhood in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon; she offered us a vivid look into the past. She took us on journeys with her words. Disease progression and time took its toll, however, and she began to process an acceptance of an inevitability that she could not stave off. She discussed her situation from an intellectual standpoint, watched educational videos about the dying process, cried, grieved, and made a conscious decision to allow nature to take its course. She accepted her decline and her dying with equanimity and grace and she died peacefully on a beautiful June evening.
Living well throughout our dying involves intentional efforts and many of us need help navigating this painful and unfamiliar territory. Our family members need support and guidance along the way. Clarehouse filled that need for 350 families in the past year. Many more will need our services during the year ahead. With your help, we can offer comfort and peace to those living their final days, and to those letting them go. A year-end gift from you will provide the caring staff that serves a hot breakfast on a cold morning, bathes a feverish brow, administers comfort medicine at 2 am, and offers an understanding shoulder to cry upon. Your support offers a distressed family a reassuring presence with the touch of a call button.
Laurette’s daughter wrote us these words after her death. “We don’t know how death will approach us but Clarehouse allows the space for it to happen with dignity and love. Clarehouse is a gift to be paid forward and we hope for others to have continued access to this loving supportive environment as we have. Thank you for helping make the last 6 weeks of mom’s life manageable, comfortable, and peaceful as possible. You provided so many tools: counseling, hospice, doctor, aides, nurses, housecleaning, dining, companionship and beautiful gardens which mom loved so much, all truly immeasurable. When our time with Clarehouse was over, it was hard to go but I can reflect with gratefulness and appreciation of the lodge house on the beautiful sliver of green space we lived in for six weeks.”
Words like these from families move us and inspire us to continue, with passion, this work of caring. Just like Laurette and her family, each family we serve has a beautiful story that deserves to be shared with future generations, and this compassionate care deserves to be shared with future guests and families. It is our privilege to ask on behalf of grieving families who have just a little time left with their loved one. Your gift today will provide loving and comfortable end-of-life care. Because of you, families will have the joy of spending those precious final days together, free from the burden of caretaking tasks.
Please join us in continuing to offer our guests the gift of compassionate care and their families the gift of treasured memories.
Your gift of $10 provides an hour of care, $240 – an entire day, $1,680 – a whole week.
At a time when every moment matters, your gift, of any amount, makes a difference.
Thank you for being part of our community of compassion in 2015. May the year ahead be one of good health and renewed hope for you and your loved ones.
Kelley Scott Jeremy Price
Executive Director Board President