Jerry was a young single dad. His two kids, Joey and Annie, were his everything. The three of them were the "Three Musketeers." They were inseparable. Then Jerry became ill. There were lots of doctor appointments, treatments and more doctor appointments. The doctors did what they could do and then they suggested that it was time for Jerry to call Arbor Hospice. James, Jerry's younger brother and his best friend, had been with Jerry every step of the way and had helped take care of the kids when Jerry wasn't up to it. Jerry agreed to be Joey and Annie's guardian and he was by James side at the initial meeting with Arbor Hospice. Together with the social worker and the grief support counselor, they put together a plan that would help all of them - Jerry, James, Joey and Annie - through the next stage of the journey. Joey and Annie both attended one-on-one counseling and the four of them met with the counselor as a family. They talked about what was going to happen next, what to expect, how it would be when Jerry, their best friend and dad, was gone and how their lives would be different.
A short time later Jerry passed away peacefully in his sleep. Joey, Annie and James were by his side sharing their last moments with him. Their grief support counselor and chaplain on hand to answer any questions they had and to provide support.
During the next few months, both Joey and Annie attended the "Art from the HeART" program and created some lasting memories of their dad. They talked about their feelings, painted pictures and created a memory book of their favorite photos of all of the fun times they had as the "Three Musketeers." Uncle James attended the Grief in the Holidays workshop, knowing that he and the kids would be creating some new traditions of their own this year - their first year as a new family of three. The holidays were hard - James, Joey and Annie met with the grief support counselor together and individually. They sought answers to some hard questions and talked about how they were feeling, how life was different. Sometimes it made sense, sometimes it did not. They all agreed that it helped to talk about it.
Today the new "Musketeers" continue to create new traditions as they move on with the next chapter of life's journey.
The Arbor Hospice Foundation helped Jerry's family transition to life without their father and brother. Click here to see how The Foundation helps others.