Skip to Content

Published on May 11, 2017

Hospice of Mercy hosts community education events

Events commemorate 10th anniversary of Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy

The Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy presents several special events featuring national speaker Deborah Grassman. The free community events are part of a series of events this year celebrating the 10th anniversary of the area’s only hospice house. The following events are open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18. 

Forgiveness and Chronic Sorrow

8 to 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, May 17
Hospice House of Mercy Conference Room
315 18th Avenue, Hiawatha

Learn about the consequences of unmourned loss, unforgiven guilt, chronic sorrow and PTSD on the soul.  Understand how these “soul injuries” cut people off from their deepest self and robs them of the essence of who they are. Learn how to help others intimately connect with their pain in a way that will self-generate and restore wholeness. 

Peace at Last

3 to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 17
Hospice House of Mercy Conference Room
315 18th Avenue, Hiawatha

Learn about the influence of the military experience on veterans and their families as they experience the dying process. Just a few of the influences of the military include the value of stoicism, the impact of dangerous duty assignments and behaviors that contribute to “unfinished business” at a veteran’s end of life. PTSD versus “post-traumatic growth” will also be identified.

Having Difficult Conversations about End-of-Life Care

7 to 8 a.m.
Thursday, May 18
Neuhaus Board Room, Mercy Medical Center
701 10th Street SE, Cedar Rapids

End of life can often be a difficult, emotional and delicate topic to discuss. This session helps families learn ways to initiate these types of conversations in a sensitive and caring way, as well as the importance of understanding a loved one’s wishes before the family has to make decisions.

Deborah Grassman is a mental health nurse practitioner whose career at the Department of Veterans Affairs spanned nearly 30 years. She was a director of a hospice program and personally took care of more than 10,000 dying veterans. She is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in caring for veterans nearing the end of life. Deborah is most well-known for her pioneering Wounded Warriors: Their Last Battle presentation, which was the first of its kind to identify the unique needs of veterans as they age. In 2002, she introduced “pinning ceremonies” to honor dying veterans — a ceremony which has now become standard practice in hospices and long-term-care facilities throughout the nation. She is now CEO and co-founder of Opus Peace, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide programs that respond to the soul injury that occurs during trauma, abuse, self-neglect and serious illness.