Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
Paula Span writes a NY Times blog, “Caring and Coping.” A recent blog begins, “You may have noticed the discreet way in which nursing homes and assisted living places acknowledge a resident’s death: a bud vase on the mantle or at the reception desk. A single rose. A card announcing the deceased’s name.”
While Bay Village is not a nursing home, we know that scene all too well. For the vast majority of care facilities, it seems as if the “rose in the bud” is the end. There is no opportunity for a public sharing of remembrances, stories, grief and hope. Who knows better than people in their 80s and 90s that death is a part of this phase of life?” To not offer a time to talk about the reality of a resident’s death runs counter to every tenet of good mental health. As Paula says, “…how troubling it is when someone who’s had dinner with the same people for months or years, and suddenly disappears, and nobody explains or says anything much at all.” Paula quotes a resident of another care facility, “I’ve heard people talk about ‘my value, my place in this community. Am I going to be reduced to a bud vase? Will I not be remembered? Do I not matter?”
Here at Bay Village, there is significance beyond the bud vase. At the time of the death of one of our residents, the family is offered and encourage to have Memorial Service or gathering here in our facilities. If that is their choice, our staff works in a very personal way to celebrate the life and resurrection of their loved one. Following these times, many family members express deep appreciation for the support they felt by the attendance of our Bay Village residents. The message conveyed and received is that their loved one was remembered, not only by a bud vase, but truly mattered … and was remembered personally. May each of us do our part to continue and enlarge this legacy of caring in these important times in the life our Bay Village family.