OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department’s Hospice team recently organized the 2021 Oswego County Hospice virtual memorial service to commemorate those who passed away during the previous year. The virtual memorial service continues a decades-long tradition of remembering and honoring the individuals in the hospice program. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oswego County Hospice and Friends of Oswego County Hospice hosted in-person memorial services, but the event has gone virtual the past two years.
Created by health department staff and volunteers, the 2021 memorial service is available on the hospice page of the county Health Department’s website at https://health.oswegocounty.com/programs/1_hospice/bereavement.php
The service starts with a rendition of “On Eagles Wings,” sung by Pastor Charles Copps, a hospice volunteer, accompanied by Betsy Copps. Oswego County Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Betty Dunsmoor follows with a reflection on grief and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has reshaped many traditions and rituals that bring comfort to those who have lost a loved one,” Dunsmoor said. “This has amplified the grief and loss our community feels. While we cannot gather physically together for our annual memorial service, we can share a safe, virtual space to pause, to reflect and to celebrate the lives of those who have died.”
Dunsmoor continues, “the grief journey is hard, but you do not have to travel it alone. We hope this special memorial service is able to assist you.”
The memorial also includes Hospice Supervisor Becky Miller sharing the importance of the hospice program and the role caregivers play in providing loved ones the opportunity to die at home, surrounded by family and friends.
Others featured in the video include Friends of Oswego County Hospice Executive Director Elena Twiss reading “Poem of Remembrance,” Oswego County Hospice nurses reading “We Remember Them,” a memorial message from hospice spiritual life chaplain Pastor Bill King, and Matthew Oldenburg, a grandson of a hospice patient, performing “Amazing Grace.”
The video was developed by Dunsmoor and Carrie Pitcher.
Oswego County Hospice offers a comprehensive program of home care for terminally ill persons who are no longer receiving aggressive or curative medical care. Hospice services are aimed at promoting optimum comfort and a personal sense of control with a focus on the quality of life. Hospice services are available to all eligible Oswego County residents.
Hospice services include nursing, medical social work, spiritual counseling and pastoral care, home health care aides, bereavement support, therapies and other services. Trained and dedicated volunteers play an integral role in providing outreach and companionship.
For more information about the Oswego County Health Department’s Hospice program, visit health.oswegocounty.com/hospice or call 315-349-8259.