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Virtual Funeral Connects Family When It Matters Most

At Constellation we are committed to treating people like they are family. For our Constellation team, this means showing an increased level of compassion and commitment not only to patients but to their families as well. When restrictions to movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented, they made it very difficult for family and friends of hospice patients to properly mourn the loss of the people they love. Our team thought it was critical to their ongoing mission of going above and beyond to find alternate solutions to these very delicate and difficult situations to offer support and care for the families they grow so close to. 

“G” had a big personality. He loved being the center of attention and having people fuss over him. If the hospice team brought him a treat for lunch, it wasn’t enough to just enjoy the Big Mac or Frosty, he loved being the object of envy and having everyone comment on how lucky he was to get something different from others in the dining room. He lived large, had an infectious zest for life, and was a joy to all those who had the pleasure of his company.  

G passed away in the end of March (unrelated to COVID-19), and because of the social distancing measures in place in New Hampshire at the time, the funeral was going to be limited to a family member and the funeral director. Jessica Lubowsky, his hospice social worker, felt this wasn’t the sendoff G would have wanted or deserved. So, Jessica and Joel, his hospice chaplain, asked other hospice team members and G’s family members if they would be interested in a virtual celebration of life. The response was an overwhelming yes, and his family expressed appreciation and gratitude for an outlet to come together. Jessica orchestrated a Zoom meeting that was held in the spring with 18 members of G’s friends, family, and hospice team members participating in the virtual service.

Joel officiated the event, complete with flowers and two pictures of G at an altar. G’s family shared funny stories, while one great-niece showed a book she’d written about his escapades. There were several tears shed as they all agreed how much he’d be missed. The family expressed a profound appreciation for the ability to celebrate and reminisce together. 

Thank you to the New Hampshire Hospice Team for showing true compassion for your patients and their families during difficult circumstances. Your sacrifices and hard work had a large impact on J and his family and will forever be remembered. This is what it means to be a part of the Constellation family. 

Pictured above: Joel, Constellation’s hospice chaplain.

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