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Sarah Higdon, who has worked in the healthcare field for some 11 years, thought she knew what to expect as her mother’s illness progressed. “My family’s actual experience with Hosparus took my breath away,” she says.  

“My mother, Juliette Shaw, was my best friend and, thanks to Hosparus, I got to spend time with her at the end of her life. Rather than running from place to place to get what she needed, Hosparus brought everything to us,” Sarah adds.

In a letter to our organization Sarah said, “Our nurse, Ketlin Schneider, and her care was just wonderful. It’s crazy how you build such bonds with people so quickly, but she will forever have a special place in my heart for the love and care she provided us.”  

Sarah and her daughter, Gabby, took full advantage of the Hosparus Grief Counseling Center’s program. The two participated in one-on-one counseling with Lori Friestrom, bereavement counselor, made Christmas ornaments, sock monkeys and most recently attended Camp Evergreen, a special weekend for children and families grieving the loss of a loved one.  

Gabby, a seven-year-old second grade student at Henryville Elementary School says she loved Camp and especially liked the low ropes course. “You have to be real still to keep your balance. I learned I don’t always have to be the strongest one.”   

“I loved my counselors too – they helped me and it was so much fun,” says Gabby.  

Sarah admits she was a bit apprehensive about camp at first. “I was not looking forward to the ‘Anger Wall,’ activity, that’s not normally how I would express myself. To my surprise, I found the exercise to be very meaningful – you have no idea what’s inside your heart.”

Sarah encourages other families to give camp a chance. “There were families that dreaded the experience but came away very thankful. I can’t put into words how good it was for us.” She adds, “Gabby got to spend time with other children her age and that helped her understand that she’s not alone in her grief.” 

Sarah concludes, “All of it, from the time of admission to Camp Evergreen, Hosparus is life-changing. When I lost my Mom, I was in a dark place. After going to see Lori and attending camp, I feel like a ton has been lifted off my shoulders.”