Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Making the Journey from Memory to Blessing

On Sunday, February 22, 2015, the Jewish Home’s Skirball Hospice held its annual memorial for the families of patients who had received services during the past year. Nearly one-hundred people were in attendance at the lovely setting of the Skirball Cultural Center.

The spiritual care staff presented a program of music, readings, and a moving ritual of building a matzevah, or altar of stones, to represent the individuals being remembered. As each name was read, a stone was placed in their memory. Participants were then invited to share a few words about their loved one. Some were recalled with happy memories, others with tears…and all of them with love. Many people expressed their appreciation for the care they had received from Skirball Hospice, both during their loved one’s final illness and while receiving bereavement support.

The memorial was also an opportunity for families to reconnect with hospice staff who had been such an important part of their lives, as well as to meet staff who work behind the scenes to administer the program. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed kosher refreshments and the chance to talk and share their stories with others.

For many, the event was an occasion to mark another step in their grief journey - to realize they are finding ways to make peace with their loved ones’ passing.

Skirball Hospice offers bereavement support to family members for thirteen months after a death in the form of letters, calls, and counseling visits as needed. This annual memorial program is part of that support which provides a bridge from memory to blessing.

For more information about the services of the Jewish Home’s Skirball Hospice, please call 818-774-3040 or visit our website at http://skirballhospice.org/