If she could, Heidi VanSledright “would sing Faith Hospice’s praises from the mountaintops.” Both of her parents entered hospice in early 2021, and Heidi witnessed the amazing amount of love and compassion that the Faith Hospice team put into their care. After their passing, Heidi realized she needed some continued support and turned to our bereavement team for help. Learn more about Heidi’s experience with Faith Hospice’s bereavement services.
If you know Heidi VanSledright, you know that she is a planner. She likes schedules, lists, details, and preparation. So when her parents passed away just 45 days apart, she was propelled on a journey that she had not been able to prepare for.

“What Faith Hospice did for my family and me is nothing short of amazing. They are a gift.”

—Heidi VanSledright

After both parents passed, Heidi, with the help of her siblings, was swept up in settling their estate. A member of the Faith Hospice bereavement team did reach out, but at the time, she was occupied and was “packing her emotions away.” Once these responsibilities were complete, the grief really started to set in. She found herself crying uncontrollably at random times, feeling engulfed in a sadness that had no end in sight. The grief continued to come in waves as she struggled to come to terms with the loss she was feeling.
A member of the bereavement team reached out once again a few weeks later, and it was then that Heidi decided to meet with a counselor. She met weekly for several months and started to feel reassured that every emotion she was feeling was part of her grief journey. After several months, Heidi felt ready to join support groups and found a lot of comfort in talking with others who were also on a healing journey.

Through these one-on-one counseling and support groups, she learned to stop fighting her grief and acknowledge it instead. At the beginning of her therapy, she wrote a letter to grief to help her process how she was feeling. She told grief how angry she was that it was in her life, that it was a burden she didn’t want to carry. Over time, she could feel the grief starting to take up a smaller and smaller place in her life. Rather than demanding that it go away, she learned how to live with grief—it is ever-present, but it doesn’t have to dominate our lives. In the next letter she wrote to grief, she told it that joy was now back in her life.

Today, Heidi volunteers to help others who are on their own journeys with grief. She tells people, “The grief journey is hard. Be willing to accept help from those who are skilled at navigating this journey. The Faith Hospice team will listen, comfort, and support you; all you have to do is ask.”