More than 150 attend annual Hospice service

April 23, 2001

More than 150 attend annual Hospice service


Night of RemembrancePhoto: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Framed photographs, a carved walking stick, a set of car keys, two ceramic rabbits and a stuffed lamb were among the mementos that graced the memory table Monday night at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.


Joseph Snavely gave his wife the rabbits on the first Easter they spent together after they were married in 1946. He gave her the lamb last Easter, several months before she died.

Elaine Snavely's name was one of 251 recited in loving memory at Hospice of Washington County's 19th annual memorial service.

More than 150 people attended the ceremony to remember the loved ones who died within the last year. Against a gentle background of harp music, a candle was lighted in tandem with the reading of each deceased Hospice clients' name.


"Taking these dear ones into our hearts with all our beloved, we recall them now with reverence," Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Fate Altizer said.

In a sanctuary gradually bathed in candlelight, people voiced their daily recollections of lost loved ones by responding to a pastor's words of remembrance.

"When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them," the pastor said. "When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them."

"So long as we live, they shall live," came the response, "for they are now part of us, as we remember them."

It was a touching service, Lisa Jernigan said.

She attended the ceremony to pay tribute to the memory of her father, Philip Bulow, who died last May after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 58.

Jernigan's mother, Janet Bulow, said Hospice workers "were wonderful" to her and her family during her husband's last days.

"I don't know what we would have done without them," Bulow said.

Hospice of Washington County is a nonprofit organization made up of health care professionals, support staff, spiritual care workers and volunteers who provide comfort and support to terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

The number of Hospice clients in Washington County increased by 25 percent this past year from the year before, Community Liaison Coordinator Dawn Johns said.

Hospice keeps in touch with family members for 13 months following their loved ones' deaths to help them get through the grieving process.

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