Arbor Hospice Volunteer Shares Her Heartfelt Experience
Lynn White is one of the Arbor Hospice "heart ladies." She is part of a group of volunteers who makes one-of-a-kind handcrafted hearts. Lynn says, "The hearts are a wonderful way to remember someone special who has touched your life, and the donations they bring in help to support Arbor Hospice. It is so meaningful to me to be involved with the hearts program. The women are great and it's so nice to be part of Arbor Hospice in this way."
Lynn was first introduced to Arbor Hospice when her mother's breast cancer reoccurred and invaded her body. Her mother's breast cancer reoccurred and invaded her body. Her mother was moved from her home in Jackson to Lynn's home in Ann Arbor. Arbor Hospice helped the family care for their mother during the last few months of her life. Lynn and her two sisters took turns caring for their mom. Lynn recalls fondly, "My mother was wonderful and easy to take care of; she was so happy, pleasant and sweet. She passed away in our house late at night. Our social worker came right over and she helped us with the details."
Lynn and her younger sister took advantage of Arbor Hospice's grief support program. Lynn states, "I loved the program. It was very helpful being together with others who were also going through a loss. Attending the grief support group was a great way to honor my mom and show respect for her. It was just the right thing for me to do. I remember once they handed out a poem and I couldn't read it because I would cry. Even now, I tear up thinking about it." It was during the six-week grief support program that Lynn learned about the Arbor Hospice Hearts of Remembrance program.
Lynn talks about this special time, "I remember it was at Christmas and Arbor Hospice had a memorial service, Hearts of Remembrance, which I loved attending. The non-denominational service was lead by an Arbor Hospice chaplain. If you had donated to the hearts program, they hung a heart on a Christmas tree with your loved one's name on it. My sister and I went and looked through all the hearts on the tree and when we found my mom's heart, it was so meaningful to see her name on the heart. It made us feel so close to her. The other people at the service found their special hearts and hung on to them."
Lynn knows that special feeling and passes it along with each heart she touches. Crafting a heart is a good fit for Lynn as she enjoys needlework and feels a closeness working with other volunteers. She says, "It's nice to be part of the group. They are all giving and strong women. Each person has a specific job and we have to be very exact. Volunteering with the hearts program is a good way to work through your grief."
She sums up her volunteering experience, "To me, all the hearts say 'love.' It's a very meaningful way to honor the people we have loved all these years. I got involved when I needed help and now I give back the help that I was given."