Published on August 24, 2016

Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House: Where Grief Meets Gifts

By Christine Hadesbeck, Manager, Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House

How Beautiful and Peaceful

Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House at Genesis

The Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, located at 2546 Tech Dr. in
Bettendorf, IA 52722, is a part of Genesis Hospice servicing all
of the greater Quad City Area.

When they walk through the front door of the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, patients and families are in the midst of a grief journey that will continue long after they leave our facility. Sometimes this journey has been a long one, beginning many months or even years before they arrive at the hospice house. Other times the illness that brings them to seek hospice was only discovered a few days or weeks prior. Regardless of the length of the journey, the grief still exists and in many forms.

Those who have walked the halls of the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House first notice how beautiful and peaceful the building appears. It’s warm, welcoming environment is not what one might expect from a medical facility. The beauty within the hospice house is not only in the aesthetics. The real beauty comes from the amazing things that happen within the facility walls. The celebrations and experiences shared amongst patients, families, friends and staff, are a major part of the grief journey.

"There is no grief like the grief that does not speak" - Henry Wordsworth.

"There is no grief like the grief that does not speak" - Henry Wordsworth.

These occasions are often meeting an end-of-life goal or wish that helps bring some small amount of peace in a difficult situation. Sometimes those celebrations are big. They come in the form of baby showers, birthday parties, holiday gatherings, or graduations. Some celebrations or experiences are small but equally as powerful or memorable.

What Families Do Not Realize

They can be nurses making room in a bed so a wife can lie next to her husband one last time, or making hand print pictures with a father and son so that when that toddler grows up, he will always have that framed print of daddy’s hand. Facilitating or assisting in making these events happen is just one way that the staff supports our residents and families.

"For some moments in life there are no words" - David Seltzer, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

"For some moments in life there are no words" - David Seltzer, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I am often stopped by family members who want to express gratitude for the care and support they received while at the hospice house. These families don't realize that we are grateful also.

We are honored that they allowed us to be a part of their journey. They let us in and trusted us with the care of their loved ones.

We have witnessed great strength and great sorrow but are so proud to have been a part of something bigger than ourselves. They also do not know that often we grieve, too. We grieve not for our loss, but for theirs. We recognize the void that has been left when their loved one died. We hope that our care and support can ease some of that, but know that only time can help soften the pain that will never completely disappear.

Our Hope

We will sit and hold a hand or offer a shoulder to cry on because we understand the pain, anger and sadness they are feeling. Maybe we sit in silence or offer some kind words. We listen as they reminisce about all of the things they loved about dad growing up, how much mom loved to cook or laugh about mishaps at their wedding 65 years ago. Sometimes, we just leave residents and their families in privacy with each other because it is what they want or need.

Our hope is not that they remember our names and faces, but that we had a positive impact by making a difficult situation as good as it could be. We will never be able to take away the pain of a loss, yet our hope is that we eased it by being available and present when they needed us. This is the grief support our Genesis hospice house staff provides as we accomplish our mission of “compassionate, quality health services to all those in need.”

We Can HelpWhere Help Is

Genesis Grief Support Cooperative envisions a community where everyone going through a grief journey has the support they need to find healing from significant loss. We service Genesis Hospice patients and families. Grief specialists are here to help every grieving person in need. We can help you or someone you know, too. Click here for more information or schedule an appointment using the form below. You may also contact a Genesis Grief Support staff via our Grief Support Helpline at 563-421-5000.

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