Heartland Hospice serving Miami Valley participated in a Celebration of Life Party for hospice patient Donna Todd. Donna, a resident at Heartland of Beavercreek expressed a heart’s desire to have an opportunity to personally thank her friends and family before she passed. The team agreed that a Celebration of Life Party would give her the chance to fulfill her wish. However, Donna insisted on planning and coordinating the entire party by herself.
“I wanted to say good-bye in my own way,” commented Donna. “I’ve always liked to do things my way. I love the Heartland Hospice and Heartland of Beavercreek staff…they mean so much to me.”
The celebration began with a few words from Donna. Then she shared her favorite scriptures from the bible and led the group in singing some of her beloved gospel hymns. Several people stood up to say kind words including friends, family and staff from both Heartland of Beavercreek and Heartland Hospice.
“We were excited to help Donna with her Celebration of Life Party,” said Casey Howard, Manager of Business of Development for Heartland Hospice. “Donna is such a wonderful person to be around,” he added, “she is always smiling, uplifting, and thankful for all of her friends. It is truly our honor to care for Donna.”
One of the more touching stories was told by one of Donna’s friends who shared how her relationship with Donna changed her life. She was battling depression and had thoughts of suicide. They became close friends and Donna’s faith and outlook on life helped her friend during this difficult time. The friend ended up moving out of state so Donna’s family paid for her to return to Dayton for Donna’s Celebration of Life party!
Donna explained, “the celebration was my way of saying good-bye. I want people to think of Christ when they think of me and I want to thank everyone for being my friend.”