Happy New Year


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Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Inc.
Hospice HeartbeatHospice Heartbeat Newsletter


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Karen... Thinking out loud

Happy New Year! As I look ahead to 2017, I look forward to everything that is to come. I love working with all the volunteers of our agency. We have volunteers giving time in all our programs. I now have the pleasure of working with the dedicated volunteers of our annual auction committee. We had our first committee meeting yesterday and we are excited about all the plans under way for our 2017 auction! We have some new people joining the committee this year that are enthusiastic to lend their time, energy, support and ideas. We still need more people. If you are interested in being a part of this great team in any capacity please call us and we can chat about what area you would like to lend your services. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it requires assistance in many areas. Volunteering your time might be a great way to start a new year.  I look forward to hearing from you.



Every year as many of us do, I look at the New Year with positive energy. I set up goals/resolutions for myself. I feel ready and excited to make improvements in my life and have the best year I can possibly have. Someone who is grieving can really struggle going into the new year without their loved ones. As I thought about this and looked up information on this I found that I liked what the Center for Grief Services had to say on this topic and would like to share it. I especially like the paragraph that speaks of hope. I feel that hope helps to guide people in all aspects of life is essential in our day to day lives. I hope this article may be helpful or inspiring.

With the new year beginning, people are racing to set their resolutions.  Many will resolve to exercise more, lose weight and be more punctual.  While it may be easy for some to set resolutions, the new year brings on different emotions for those who are grieving.  The more traditional resolutions become not so important and the idea of getting through all the yearly anniversaries of the deceased loved one becomes harder and at times overwhelming.   Although grieving proves to be difficult and trying during the year, there are some resolutions that we can make to get through the difficult times.  We need to listen to our bodies and the way our grief is affecting us.
Learn to embrace the resolution of drinking plenty of water and eating healthy.  It’s not uncommon for people who are grieving to be more susceptible to sickness. By nature, grief takes a toll not only on our emotional spirit but on our physical as well.  Drinking water helps to flush toxins from our system allowing for a more healthy immune system.  Eating healthy allows for the body to refuel with necessary vitamins and energy to continue to fight against sickness.
Although exercising more is a traditional resolution, it is a resolution that helps with grief.  Through these winter months, a long walk outside may not be an option for those who prefer the warmth.  However, taking the stairs at work, parking a little further from the door or an inside treadmill are other options that can get the blood flowing.  If those don’t sound appealing, grab a friend and join the gym or exercise class.  Having an exercise buddy helps to increase the chances of following through with this resolution.
An important resolution is to make time for ourselves and our grief.  When times become sad or disheartening, we need to realize that’s a sign from our grief to slow down and pay respect to our feelings.  As the feelings flush over, it’s important to recognize the sadness as it is and accept the feeling.  Once this happens, the grief will flow through the body and begin to release itself.  The longer we ignore the feeling the longer it stays with us.  Using a journal to write down our emotional experience can help to process the grief and place names to the feelings.  If talking is your avenue, find a friend or therapist to help the process.
Lastly, for those who are grieving, the best new years resolution we can grant ourselves is the resolution of hope.  Have hope that the new year will bring challenges that will turn into growth. Have hope that each sunrise will bring happiness.  Have hope that you can be patient with yourself and your grief, while trusting that the pain will lessen as the love deepens.
Grieving is a unique process.  Finding what suits you best may take some time.  If one resolution doesn’t work, don’t stop searching for what makes the process a little easier.  As time continues, the grief does not go away.  Instead, we learn how to live with the loss by learning how to cope with our feelings.  Our loved one’s who have passed away will always remain in our hearts surrounded by love that we have once shared.  “Unable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality." ~ Emily Dickinson.
Kristi Capriglione, LAC is a co-founder and a grief counselor at The Center for Grief Services (www.centerforgriefservices.com) offering workshops and counseling for those experiencing loss.


Director's View

The serious illness of a loved one impacts the entire family from the point of diagnosis.  Though we all hope that treatment will be successful, difficult questions, worries and concerns must arise.  Our instinct can be to avoid having these hard conversations, but families in our programs who are facing serious illness have taught us that families and children, including when they are the patient, benefit from the opportunity to get more information, express their feelings, and ask questions. For more information on any of our programs please contact us at anytime. 

We wanted to share incase you have not seen this article: USDA invests $11.1M to improve quality of life in six counties, for our area this goes to : Kennebec Montessori School Inc., Somerset County: $700,000 Community Facilities Direct Loan. Funds will be used to construct a 2,400-square-foot addition to the existing school located in Fairfield. This project is needed to provide the space needed to accommodate expanded upper elementary classes. To read all of the other locations please click here

One topic this month that is on the Health Awareness is Cervical Health Cancer Awareness Month which is each January. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with cervical cancer, are a cervical cancer survivor, are caring for someone with the disease, or just want to know more, it’s important to get the facts and to keep moving forward with hope and determination. Understanding breast cancer staging is very important in creating your treatment plan and understanding your possible outcomes. It also helps you figure out whether or not you can be a part of clinical trials. To learn more about this please click here


From the President

We are always looking for qualified, committed individuals to serve on our board or one of our several committees. If you or someone you know may be interested please contact the Executive Director here. Below you will find our current board members that help to shape the future of our agency.

Tim Curtis, Chairman
Dana Hamilton, Vice-Chairman
Thomas Desjardins, Treasurer
Kim DeMerchant, Secretary
Bill Primmerman
Eunice Thorpe 



In Closing

It is important to remember the mission of Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, which is: Is to care for those with a life limiting illness, provide support and solace to the grieving, and to educate the community.

Also it is important to remember that,  all our services are provided at no charge to all of the residents that we serve.

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