Hospice Heartbeat Newsletter


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



Upcoming Events/Fundraisers 


Karen... Thinking out loud

I was thinking that I want to give a special thank you to a group of teen boys who have been awesome with their efforts to help people in need with their shoveling. It is easy to put aside the terrible week we had last week being pounded with repeated snowstorms. It is very nice to see those snowbanks melting and feeling some warmer temperatures. Last week one of our teen volunteers accompanied me to the office to help shovel at least three feet of snow. That same teen went to our director’s house (whom was happily enjoying his much deserved vacation in the sunny state of Florida) to help shovel at his house. Later in the day our group of teen boys came to finish the shoveling at our office and then traveled on to surrounding towns in our community to help people with life limiting illness with their shoveling. We very much appreciate these boys volunteering and their hard work. I have heard that the Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a harsh month of March for us…I hope this is not true. I know our teens will continue to provide assistance with the dreaded snow removal if it comes. In the mean time I am looking forward to my retreat to the sunny state of Florida at the end of the month! In my opinion, Spring cannot arrive fast enough!



Most people think of the grieving process as something experienced only after the death of a loved one. But we grieve for many reasons---be it the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, loss of a pet, loss of material processions, or the loss of good health. Anytime something significant is taken away from us, most people will grieve. And that grieving process can trigger a host of unfamiliar and confusing emotions and behaviors.

I would like to talk about recent events in my life that have reminded me of grief not associated with the death of a loved one. A couple of months ago I decided it was time to sell my house. I have a large five bedroom home. Over half of my children have grown up and reestablished themselves in their own homes or apartments. With three heating zones in my house my oil bill can be a little staggering at times. It was a logical decision to put my house up for sale…but with that decision also was the difficult realization that the home we are moving into is not ideal for our family dog to move with us. Last week we gave our pet up for adoption.

Think about the last time you experienced a loss and think about how you reacted. Do any of the following emotions or reactions sound familiar?

“I just don’t feel like myself. I feel disconnected and different from everyone.”
“I sometimes feel overwhelmed and disoriented.”
“I’m really scattered, and I’m having trouble focusing on work or daily activities.”
“ I cannot believe how moody I have been lately”
“I feel unusually sad”
“ I feel like I am failing”

As I researched for this article I realized that I have been experiencing many of the reactions listed above and helping my kids through similar reactions. We have each other to talk to and that helps. We are a close family that knows how to lean on each other. Some of the kids have looked to blame someone (also a typical sign of grieve.) I seem to be the person for them to vent their frustrations and anger toward. It complicates my grief and reactions but I am thankful to have family and friends that I can lean on. Communication is key in the healing process. If we bottle up our feelings then it will be difficult to move on. I feel my focus is returning. I do not feel so overwhelmed and disoriented. My house officially went up for sale yesterday. This is the only home that my kids have known. Their dad built the home for us and subsequently died in the home. Our future is bright. I know we will all be very happy in our new home…but…when our house sells and we remove our final box from our home…I know another round of grieving will take place.  I know who to reach out to talk to and I will help my kids through it. 

Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County is pleased to help anyone with any grieving process. We are here and would be happy to assist anyone in their grief. 



Director's View

We want to take a minute and talk about our volunteers who are worth their weight in gold. They share their time and talents without any compensation, so it's crucial to acknowledge their contributions and let you know they are valued. Thanking you and them can go a long way toward accomplishing this goal, so it's worth taking the time to find just the right words to show your appreciation to you and them.
The compassion you all show to the people we serve is an inspiration for us all. We noticed how you all treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter what the situation is. We know how stressful it can be for the people who find themselves in need of the services we provide, and your words and actions go a long way toward helping them keep their dignity. We just want you to know that your work hasn't gone unnoticed. Thank you for all that you do.

We also want to take a minute and talk about our fundraisers this year in particular the Annual Dinner and Auction coming up that we hope you will attend. It seems obvious why fundraising is important: to raise funds for needed items, services and programs. Yet, raising funds has so many other benefits besides these. As some are aware our budget has been cut, and staff time reduced. We are sure that you know the old saying “do more with less,” and that is what we are trying to do for you. We understand that there are several hundred non-profits in our area, and speaking with some of you and hearing where you are coming from you get several or hundreds or requests each year for donations and funding. We ask that you consider joining us with our fundraising efforts this year. We are rebuilding this year and we have cut down some of the fundraising events that we are doing, hoping that this will help you. This agency is much more then just offering volunteer hospice services, which most are aware of but with our largely and expanding grief support and teen programs, this is the prime time to join us not just with giving but by helping to spread the word of all the great things that we are doing here.
So we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Dinner and Auction, which tickets are on sale now for, but working more with you into the future. If you ever have any question please contact us. 



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 
Heather Washburn



In Closing

Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County is a 501 c3 organization with a tax exempt status and EIN of: 01-0465864. You can always make a donation to our organization by mailing it to: 41 Main Street, Skowhegan Maine 04976, or online by clicking here

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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