Joseph J. Stevens III, Supervisor
2309 Broad Avenue Altoona, PA 16601
Aftercare represents our commitment in providing comprehensive service to you. Since 1989, this program of support and education has been available for those who grieve. Please consider our diverse Aftercare program as a resource for the identification and understanding of your unique grief experience. Each discussion group, video presentation, and newsletter is designed to promote your personal growth while addressing grief issues that are common to others. A list of program topics, including date, time and location, is updated frequently for the convenience of planning your schedule.
Aftercare is provided solely for your benefit. Attend any session that is comfortable for you and at a time of your choosing. You are welcome at any program.
Most grief support programs are held at “The Gathering Place”, 2313 Broad Avenue, Altoona, which is located next door to the funeral home. If meetings are to held at a different location, it will be noted. If you are interested in additional information about Aftercare, or other programs that are available, please contact us at 814-944-9755, or by email at email@example.com.
“Helping Dispel 5 Common Myths About Grief” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
In the next series of
newsletters, we will have excerpts from Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt’s article
entitled, “Helping Dispel 5 Common Myths About Grief”. Dr. Alan D.
Wolfelt is a noted author, educator and practicing grief counselor. He
serves as Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort
Myth #1: Grief and mourning are the same experience. Most people tend
to use the words grief and mourning interchangeably. However, there is
an important distinction between them. We have learned that people move
toward healing not by just grieving, but through mourning. Simply
stated, grief is the internal thoughts and feelings we experience when
someone we love dies. Mourning, on the other hand, is taking the
internal experience of grief and expressing it outside ourselves. In
reality, many people in our culture grieve, but they do not mourn.
Instead of being encouraged to express their grief outwardly, they are
often greeted with messages such as "carry on," "keep your chin up,"
and "keep busy." So, they end up grieving within themselves in
isolation, instead of mourning outside of themselves in the presence of
The Advantage of Pre-Planning
Why do so many of us put
off pre-planning funeral arrangements? We know it’s a wise decision –
but yet we still don’t do it. We plan for all the other unexpected
events that may happen to us, such as our home catching on fire or a
theft – through homeowner’s insurance, or an auto accident – you have
auto insurance, but it’s much more difficult to plan the details of
one’s funeral. We have spoken to numerous families whose loved ones had
pre-planned their funeral and have found it so much easier on the
families when all, or almost all, of the decisions are made in advance.
It helps to relieve a great deal of stress rather than dealing with all
the decisions at the time of need.
We make the pre-planning process
easier. You and your family can choose the type of funeral service you
desire, you may choose your merchandise, decide on your musical
selections, and decide how to personalize your service so it reflects
your life. Are you an avid sports fan? Or a musician? Or do you enjoy
making crafts? You may choose to have your personal items displayed or
have music playing that reflects your personal wishes - your family
won’t have to guess what you would have wanted because you made your
choices in advance. You may even pre-fund your funeral in advance, if
Making these decisions in advance just makes sense – it
relieves a tremendous emotional burden from your family, it allows you
to express your own wishes, and pre-funding can relieve the financial
responsibility from your family.
Getting Through the Holidays When You’ve Lost a Loved One Written by Terrilynn Deavor - Asera Care Hospice- Altoona
When you’ve lost a loved one, the holiday season can be a painful
reminder of the terrible loss you are feeling, instead of bringing
warmth, love, and excitement. The first few years are perhaps the most
difficult, but even years later, the holidays may lack the joy they
once had for you. There are steps you can take, however, to help give
the holidays a new meaning. The holidays can become a time of peace and
reflection, a time to cherish the gift your loved one has been. Here
are a few ideas that may help you begin your journey.
Be patient and
realistic. Sometimes our own high expectations of the holidays make the
pain and frustration more acute. Remember that you are grieving, and be
kind and gentle with yourself. Leave the word ought out of the holiday
season this year. Listen to your heart and acknowledge your limits.
Spend some quiet time before the rush of the holidays, listening to
your heart. Become aware of your needs and express them to your friends
and family that you plan to spend the holidays with. Adapt cherished
traditions. When grief and loss overwhelm us at the holidays, we are
sometimes tempted to scrap the whole thing, to do absolutely nothing.
But you can keep traditions alive in ways that make sense, given the
new reality of your life. For instance, if the fact that you won’t be
buying a gift for your departed loved one this year saddens you, buy a
simple gift that you know he or she would have liked and give it to
someone else who may otherwise not have a gift. Make a donation to a
charity in your loved one’s name. Allow the tears to come, but look for
joy amidst the pain.
As you unpack and sift through the decorations,
understand that along with the warm, loving memories, you will be
unpacking some heartaches as well. Don’t deny yourself the gift of
healing tears. Focus on the spiritual dimension of the holidays. In
this season of light, remember the light your loved one has brought to
your life. Light a special candle-not a memory of death - but in
celebration of a life and love shared. Spend a moment in quiet prayer
of thanksgiving for having loved and been loved by this person.
additional information on holiday bereavement, feel free to contact
Terrilynn Deavor/Bereavement Coordinator, at Asera Care Hospice-
Altoona (814) 941-2900.