Every year Caring Circle including Lory’s Place, is fortunate to be invited into the lives and stories of our friends and neighbors throughout Southwest Michigan. Those we serve truly become part of our extended family and though we are at a unique time in our history, our love and care does not stop. This year, more than ever, we need your financial support to continue providing essential help and local services to our neighbors and friends in need.
Hospice Provides Peace in the Midst of Pain
In just one year, the Postelli family navigated the difficult waters of watching three beloved family members decline in health and die. But they didn’t face it alone. Caring Circle was by their side, providing care and comfort in the times it mattered most. Jeanie Postelli’s mother Renee was declining rapidly due to a neurodegenerative disease that affected mobility and cognition. Even though Renee lived in an assisted living facility with her husband of 58 years, Jeanie knew they would benefit from hospice. “Hospice care was a great support for my mom, my dad, and the assisted living staff,” said Jeanie. Under hospice, Renee’s condition stabilized, prolonging the short time family had with her. “We had a wonderful last weekend,” said Jeanie. “We were even able to take Mom outside and sit in the sunshine with her. It was a beautiful time together.” Hospice care also provided support as grandparents Cleo and Frank– both more than 100 years old–declined in health. Cleo struggled with painful diabetic ulcers and cardiovascular issues, but refused more testing or treatment. “She was in terrible pain. Hospice helped manage that, so she could pass peacefully,” said Jeanie. “They also provided support to Frank through the whole process.” Soon after Cleo’s death, Frank experienced his own medical issues. Family called on hospice once again. Jeanie shared that although Frank was aware of his situation, he was calmed by the care of hospice staff. “The staff is just amazing,” said Jeanie. “They understand the difficult times and are a great support for everyone.”
My name is Ronnika Williams, I was born and raised in the city of Benton Harbor. I was introduced to Lory’s Place through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. Anyone that knows me, knows that I suffered the death of my father seven years ago. It was very hard for me to talk about what it was like losing him, so being in a circle with the teens and facilitators of Lory’s Place, I became more comfortable sharing stories with my family and peers. I found comfort in telling others stories about my dad and listening to theirs. Lory’s Place is important for our community because it’s not very easy to talk about grief, especially in the Black community–there is a stigma associated with mental health and the need to open up about feelings. Grief is universal and we need ways to express our deep sorrow. Lory’s Place has done a great job reaching out to areas that have not felt comfortable reaching out on their own. Lory’s Place is here for us and there to walk with us during our journey.