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1300 Candles – Remembrance and Grief

grief supportby Lisa Templeton-Farmer, Director of Grief Programs at Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care

Remembrance and grief – As Memorial Day approaches I often hear families discussing memories, memorials and family rituals. Grief itself is an individual experience, and so is how we choose to remember our loved ones.

That’s an important concept when people think of sharing grief with others and start to understand living with loss.

A memory of a loved one no longer here – even a good memory – can cause a person to feel sad or angry. If the loss was sudden or unexpected, the emotional reaction can feel amplified. We might even feel like we have little control over memories which often find their way into our thoughts in surprising ways.

Remembering, or remembrance, is different and more intentional; and, it can help you cope with those memories as you move forward in learning to live with loss.

There is a difference between memory and remembering

Memories are a broad term which reflect the recall of a person, place or experience. Remembrance, on the other hand, refers to intentionally carrying out activities which help us honor and remember those we have loved and can help us move forward with our loss. These activities might include looking at pictures, writing, or perhaps carrying out a volunteer project or another activity that reminds you of the person you’re missing. This time of remembering can be healing and therapeutic.

Grief and rituals

People also might seek out more formal rituals of remembering through our community, such as memorial events. An example of this is Circle of Lights, a formal ceremony of remembrance offered by Kansas City Hospice each May. It can be helpful because it connects you with other people who are sharing similar losses. Those, again, are people seeking out intentional ways of remembering and seeking the social presence of someone they love, even if that person is no longer alive.

It’s important to understand that, even within families, people grieve differently. Interest in how and what to remember will vary among people who might even be extremely close. If they don’t understand that there is difference, it can cause conflict. Some people might even look at another person’s patterns of grieving and think they’re not doing it right, or maybe they don’t care as much because they’re doing it differently. That’s not usually what’s going on. It’s that people need to carry their loss – and express their feelings – differently.

To learn more, listen in to a recent Senior Care Live podcast as host Steve Kuker visits with David Wiley, President and CEO of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care and myself, as I discuss my role as Director of Grief Programs at Kansas City Hospice. We discuss the powerful tool of “remembrance” as we grieve as individuals and as a community during times of loss.  https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/seniorcarelive/episodes/2019-05-06T07_32_04-07_00

Join us at Circle of Lights

Circle of Lights is an annual ceremony of remembrance offered by Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care.

As the sun sets and more than 1,300 luminary candles begin to shine surrounding the J. C. Nichols Fountain on the Plaza, we will find healing in the midst of the spring air. The sights and sounds of the Plaza will provide a backdrop as we gather together as a community to remember our loved ones. We invite you to come and be witness to the lives that carry on in honor and memory of loved ones.

Each year there are family members searching for someone from hospice teams who served their family member at the end of their life. There is a sacredness, a richness and an intimate knowing that we have been a witness to and a partner in the care of their loved one. These dedicated caregivers are important to their story. 

This is the 8th year that we will have performance chalk art that is drawn as the stories are shared. Our intergenerational program includes a bagpiper, and this year a band has been added. There is an opportunity for you to have a luminary for one of your loved ones as calligraphers will be standing by to inscribe their names in preparation for this beautiful service.

We hope this will once again be a night that is uplifting and healing as we join together in remembering the special people we love.

New this year 

Circle of LightsEnjoy sips, sweets and jewels. Join us at Kendra Scott before you head to Circle of Lights! Shop Kendra Scott’s fine and fashion jewelry along with the home charms collection. 20% of all purchases will benefit Kansas City Hospice.

Kansas City HospiceAvailable for purchase – An exclusive Kansas City Hospice necklace, perfect for wearing to remember a loved one, or to gift to a grieving friend or family member in honor of their loved one. ($60.00 – For Kendra Scott fans, this is the “Leanor” necklace and features a light blue illusion stone.)

Make a night of it! Come early to shop, grab a bite to eat, and then head to JC Nichols Fountain for the beautiful Circle of Lights ceremony, where more than 1,300 luminaries will light up the evening at dusk. We hope to see you there!

Can’t make the event? Perhaps you’re stopping by the Plaza for lunch or work in the area. Simply stop in on May 21, purchase the exclusive necklace or any piece to complement a summer wardrobe and let them know you’re supporting Kansas City Hospice, and we will receive a 20% giveback donation from Kendra Scott.

Phone orders can be made the day of (May 21) at 913.326.1806 or feel free to stop in the store the day of the event and be sure to mention Kansas City Hospice. Please note that online orders will not count.

Kendra Scott – 412 Nichols Road, Kansas City, MO 64112 – 4 to 7 pm, May 21

 
The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. And, our vision is each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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There's a long list of hospices in Kansas City, but there's only one Kansas City Hospice. Our programs provide comprehensive expert care for all ages at all stages of serious illness.

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When the focus shifts to comfort instead of treatment, care comes to your home or nursing facility with a plan tailored to your needs, including emotional and spiritual support for the whole family.

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When complex needs benefit from a team approach, supportive home care brings the care you need, with 24/7 nurse support for pain, stress and symptoms due to serious illness.

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Beginning as early as diagnosis and at any stage of serious illness, our nurse practitioners make home visits as needed to help coordinate your care and provide expert pain and symptom management.

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Advanced Illness Support
Hospice House

Hospice House

When symptoms cannot be easily managed at home, two hospice houses provide 24/7 expert care in comfortable home-line settings where family members can be relieved of caregiving duties to focus on loved ones.

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Carousel

Carousel provides palliative and hospice care for perinatal and for babies through young adults with a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists.

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Solace House

Solace House

Our center for grief and healing supports individuals and families who have been impacted by the death of a loved one, whether anticipated, or sudden and unexpected. We provide opportunities to share, listen, learn and heal with peer group support from age 3 through adult.

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