Morrissett Creates Simple Wish
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Over the years our owners and staff have watched day after day as the families we serve have been devastated by the loss of a loved one. In many cases this loss comes at the end of a long emotionally and financially draining end of life experience. We know that we can help them with the funeral details and necessary paperwork, but we have never had a way to show that we care about what they have been through. How can we connect with the family before a death has occurred?
Most of our staff has been on the “other side of the desk” and realize how hard it is to provide for a family member’s every need as they transition from this life. Sometimes it is because of a financial limitation, but a lot of times it is because of time constraints, there are just so many hours in a day and as the end nears the days go by so quickly.
We believe that every person is special and the story of their life is to be honored.
It is in this spirit that we came up with the concept of “A Simple Wish”, as the ability for us, as a community to fulfill the terminally ill’s desire for one last thing, just a simple, “I wish I could…”
We do not try to arrange for a huge final vacation or a lavish family reunion, but more of the small things, like a manicure/pedicure, arrange a visit from an out of town grandchild, a weekend at the beach, a luncheon with special people in their lives, or as a friend told me about her sister’s last wish, just a trip around town to see the Christmas lights one more time, a wish that they never found the time to do. We are not sure of all the possibilities, but we are sure that there is a need out there and we want to help those that we can.
This is going to be a long term project and outreach for our firm, so we established a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) corporation. Then we enlisted our friends at the area hospices. They help by qualifying and referring recipients to us and by serving on the foundation’s board of directors. We also set up a decision team, comprised of clergy, hospice workers, a legal professional and a financial advisor. This team is responsible for deciding which wishes are granted and when. We did not want our funeral home to be the deciding factor on who gets a wish granted or not. A Wish Granting Team, comprised of our employees and their spouses, takes care of fulfilling the requirements of the wish.
In June of 2014, we rolled out this program and within a few weeks, we granted our first wish. An elderly gentleman, who had gone to live with his daughter as he lived out his final years, wanted to celebrate his last birthday at the rustic cabin that was his childhood home. Our “Wish Team” arranged for a medical transportation company to take him to and from the event as well as provide all the supplies for a memorable 89th birthday. We connected with that family in a totally new way and with this, “A Simple Wish” was off and running.
Our Mission Statement
Never waiver in our standards for fair, honest and ethical conduct and demand the same of those that help us to grant wishes.
Believe passionately in our mission and its value to the recipient.
Help the family discover ways to receive the support of friends and the larger community.
Show respect for diversity in all the cultural, ethnic and religious beliefs that are important in our society. We must support all as one community.
Find ways to say yes – even to seemingly impossible requests.
Give assistance when wishes may be contrary to accepted norms.
Serve everyone with compassion and understanding.
Be open to change.
Be a friend.
Testimonial About Simple Wish:
Our company has really enjoyed partnering with “A Simple Wish.” With their help, we have been able to grant wishes to two clients so far. One wish recipient is someone who has been inspired throughout his life by the courage and heart shown by the UVA football team, his favorite since childhood. He confessed his desire to see them play live while he still has the chance and can enjoy it. “A Simple Wish” immediately came to my mind. It was easy coordinating with Leslie, and she has been patient and attentive, as we have journeyed together to bring hope and joy to this gentleman and his family. As soon as plans were in the works, I began to get regular questions from him about the game. He was soooooo excited! It is hard for able-bodied healthy individuals like us to understand just what a game shared with beloved family or a meal at a favorite restaurant means to those who face the isolation and daunting challenges that can accompany the last chapter of life. I got into hospice work to be of service to people in such circumstances, and it is such a great boost to know that there are groups like “A Simple Wish” who are willing to partner with us to engage in the work of caring for and dignifying those who face the end of life.
David C. Hassmer
Chaplain / Volunteer Coordinator
MORRISSETT FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICESWISH TEAM
Wish Team: 804-363-7405 | Office: 804-275-7828 | Fax: 866-708-3124