March News & Events
The PATH to Better Health          
New Health Care Program
Helps Those with Serious Illness

by Josh Swiller, LMSW Hospicare Provider Relations Specialist 


Hospicare is pleased to announce the launch of a new free health care program for those in our community facing a serious illness. Called Personal Attention to Health, or PATH, the program is designed to provide people and their family members with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness-whatever the diagnosis.


Illness comes with many challenges: medical, emotional, spiritual and logistical. PATH assists people to navigate these challenges, to find spiritual and emotional balance, and to take advantage of all the resources Tompkins County has available. The program also helps the whole family, especially caretakers, find the support they need during this difficult time.


To read more, click here.


Sharing Grief
Brings Solace and Support
Elaine and her family: (from left) husband Vic, and sons David  and Anthony.

by Elaine Mansfield


"I miss Dad," I told Mom after my father died when I was 14. "I don't know what to do."


"I can't talk about it," Mom said. "I have to go to work.   I can't cry."  


My only brother returned to college while Mom withdrew into a shell of sorrow. I grieved alone.


No one shared funny or sad memories. There was no photo of Dad in our home. I remember his empty chair at the dining room table and the hollow feeling in my chest. I felt isolated, disconnected from my father and everyone.


"Let's not tell anyone until we know exactly what's going on," my husband Vic suggested when doctors suspected cancer in 2006.


"I can't do that," I said. "We need to tell our sons and friends. We don't have to do this alone." Vic agreed.


To read more, click here.



Elaine's New Group Starting Soon


In April, Elaine will lead a new four-week series of Standing in Our New Lives: A Bereavement Group for Women Who Have Lost Partners or Spouses.  


For more information click here or visit the event section of the Hospicare website. 


Elaine Mansfield has facilitated Hospicare peer support groups for widows since 2011 and written for the Hospicare newsletter and website since 2009. Her book, Leaning Into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief, will be published in November 2014.

To learn more, visit 


2nd Annual Pet Memorial Service
Saying Goodbye to Animal Friends


On Sunday, March 9, 2014, Whole Animal Veterinary Geriatrics & Veterinary Hospice Services will host Ithaca's 2nd Annual Community Pet Memorial Service at the Carriage House Cafe in Ithaca.  


Last year, Dr. Katherine Goldberg of Whole Animal, along with Cornell vet students, organized the inaugural Community Pet Memorial Service. Around 40 people were present. Guests brought photos or other mementos of their deceased pets, shared stories and lit candles in remembrance. They celebrated the lives of dogs, cats, and one guinea pig.


"We each grieve in our own ways," says Melissa Travis Dunham, who attended last year's memorial service. " But there can be comfort from shared grief. It was clear that we were among kindred spirits. No one said 'It's OK, you can get another dog,' or 'Why are you crying? It was just a guinea pig!' We did not know each other or our pets, but we all knew the sorrow."


Anyone grieving the death of a pet is welcomed to attend the 2nd Annual Memorial Service.  


For more information, click here. 


Save the Dates!

  • Women Singin' 3/4, 4/1 (1st Tuesday of the month), 5:30-7:00 PM
  • Evening Support Group for Newly Bereaved 3/5, 4/2 (1st Wednesday of the month), 5:30-7:00 PM 
  • Evening Support Group for All Bereaved 3/19, 4/16 (3rd Wednesday of the month), 5:30-7:00 PM  
  • Wednesday Breakfast Group 3/12 & 3/26, 4/9 & 4/23 (2nd & 4th Weds. of the month), 8:30 AM  
  • Grief Song (a weekend gathering, meets all three days), 3/14, 7:00-9:00 PM; 3/15 10:00 AM-4:00 PM; 3/16, 12:00 AM-2:00 PM    
  •  Grief Film Series Transforming Loss 3/26, 7:00-9:00 PM, The Gifts of Grief 4/30, 7:00-9:00 PM
  • Standing in Our New Lives (a four-week support group) 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 2:30-4:00 PM                    

For more information on any of the above groups or events, please call 607-272-0212, or visit our Events page to download a PDF of our current calendar.


Our mission is to bring medical expertise and compassionate, respectful care to people and their loved ones at any stage of a life-threatening illness, and to provide information and education about advanced illness, dying and bereavement to the entire community.
In This Issue
Sharing Grief
Pet Memorial
Save the Dates
In the News
Websites of Interest
Help Us Help Others
Support Hospicare
In the News
'Aid in Dying' Movement Takes Hold in Some States
Helping the terminally ill end their lives is now legal in 5 states, and death with dignity bills are being introduced in others.

Fraught Questions at the End of Life
Letters to the editor concerning the "Aid in Dying" article explore the issue from personal viewpoints.

Hospice Music Therapists Hit the Right Note
A new form of music therapy works with the terminally ill to help them review their lives through song and reminiscence.

When Dying Meets Denial
Denial is a common coping mechanism at the end of life--sometimes it can be helpful, other times it can stand in the way of a good death.

Starting Hospice Care for a Loved One
What happens when your loved one is ready for hospice, but you aren't? 
Websites of Interest

Funeral Poems
The author of this website has gathered a selection of poetry appropriate for funerals.
This website offers people the option of lighting a virtual candle in memory of a loved one.

Reaching out
Help terminally ill people spend the end of their lives peacefully and without pain.

Our Wish List
Items to make patients and their families more comfortable.

Quick Links

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